15 Jan finally arrived and I was to be admitted to the hospital past mid-night. So I decided to grab a quick bite at MacDonald first before the start of a long laborious morning since I have heard enough horror stories about child birth. The night was cooling yet silent. I checked-in at Mt Alvernia labour ward. Everything was good and relaxing. Not knowing what to expect, the nurses gave me the first dose of tablet to make the cervix dilate. I was also told that there were two other mothers next door and I felt excited all of a sudden. We are all gonna see our babies today! The husband was so eager to see our baby too. Both of us were playing the guessing game about the gender of our little precious.
Two hours passed quickly and we were almost dozing off while watching nat geo and cracking cold jokes in the middle of the night. No pain, no nothing. We were both waiting eagerly yet not knowing what to expect as first time parents. We dozed off an hour later to be awaken by the mid-wife to check for dilation down the vagina at about 4am.
We were disappointed. I was told that if the second tablet doesn’t work by 10am, I will need a c-section to reduce the risk of side effects caused by the tablet to my baby. The maximum times I can try is four times but of course, I wouldn’t run the risk of side effects so I told myself two is enough. I googled my way to make sure that my cervix must dilate. Some websites recommended squatting, walking around, standing and I did all of them. For 4 hours, i refused to lie down on the bed. I lost count of how many times I walked around the room. And then, there was bloody show. Somewhat like menses and the cramps started. I was elated! Finally, there were signs of labour. I repeated doing those steps again and again while rushing to the washroom multiple times to urinate and discharge those blood. The nurses came in at about 8am again to check on me. They squat some liquid up my anus to trigger me to clear my bowels. I was told I was 2cm dilated. Out of a sudden, the lady next door was screaming out in pain. The room wasn’t sound proof so I can hear her almost loud and clear. She was screaming in pain for about an hour and it suddenly stopped. I was nosy so I asked the mid wife what happened. They told me she passed out and needed an emergency c-section. My heart almost froze in fear. Will that happened to me too? I wondered.
So 2 hours passed and I finally got to meet Dr Kenneth at 10am. He checked on me and broke my water bag. The liquid was warm and clear. Although I was still only 2cm dilated, he encouraged me to keep walking and squatting so that hopefully I can be 4cm dilated by 12 noon. If not, I must go for c-section as it was taking a bit too long. He also said that the baby might be in distressed if the wait is long. So I tried my best.
At 12am I was dilated at 3.5cm so it was a good sign for natural birth! Thank God.
I opted for epidural after thorough research about side-effects. I was least worried about the side effects since epidural reacts differently from women to women. It all depends on individual body. Some mothers did warn me about the back aches that comes with epidural but it didn’t happened to me at all. I was more concerned that if by opting out, I may run a greater risk of c-section since my body may be too tired to push baby out when she is engaged and baby might be still-born.
For first time parents, epidural is not just an injection. It is an injection attached with a rubber tube connected to a drip. Hence, medical professionals can monitor the drip if you think you may need to increase the dosage. It is not so much of the pain but the fear of not knowing that drives you nuts. Anyways, up till now, I didn’t get to feel any pain at all. Not a single bit. No screaming, no pain, no drama like channel 8. Everything was good.
From 4cm onwards, the process was fast. 2 hours later, I was 8cm dilated and out of a sudden, the mid-wife was busy lifting my legs, getting the equipments ready, the weighing scale, the measuring tape. Everything was in place. I was told by the mid wife that there were a few c-section cases that morning and that Dr Kenneth Lee will be coming in to deliver baby in a while. I wasn’t paying any attention, just wanna quickly push and sleep. When the baby’s head was engaged, the counting began. Breathe in 10s, hold your breathe for 12s while pushing the baby rhythmically. I was almost out of breath. The husband was counting so slowly that I asked him to stop counting. Dr Kenneth told me he could see the head. I couldn’t see anything. I was pushing as hard as I could and there she was, out within 30min. I saw that pair of scissors that Dr Kenneth was using to cut through the vagina in order to free my baby’s head. I must say, I felt intimated although I was on epidural not feeling any pain. That image was just scary!
Dr Kenneth was so elated to know that she is a baby girl after waiting together with us for 10 odd months. He showed me her genital so near that I almost flat face it! She was 3.7KG! Goodness, what a vast difference from the estimation of not more than 3KG.
Special thanks to the group of medical teams at Mt Alvernia Hospital. I was honoured to have the nurse director and staff nurse to deliver my baby. It was such a pleasant and smooth experience to deliver with no pain at all! Even after the epidural worn off, the pain killer was helping me with the fresh wound. I would say, child birth is not painful and scary at all!