Saturday, September 06, 2008

My Birth Story

Since my mei-mei (little sister) is coming out soon, Mummy has decided to get my birth story up. It is a long one, so enjoy!
The day before Rye Li came out, I walked a whole lot although I was in pain in terms of my right leg! I was limping for over a month as I think my right leg just couldn’t handle my sudden increase in weight. It was a Friday and I took medical leave that day and went to see my Obgyn. I was only a day short to 37 weeks then and didn’t expect to see the girl for another 2 weeks or so.

My Obgyn also checked me “there” as I was complaining it has been hurting lately and he said it looked alright to him. He also added that Rye Li will be 6-7 pounds when she comes out (I’m guessing he was indicating this from my huge size).

After the checkup, we went to One Utama for a stroll and to get some stuff for our friend’s New Year eve’s party the next day. We spent nearly half the day there and by the time night came, I couldn’t really walk anymore with a limping leg.

After One Utama, we even went to get some DVDs, thinking that we could catch up with some movies over the long weekend then (till today, we haven’t seen all of the DVDs we got that night!).

That night, we went to bed as usual. About 2 plus in the morning or so, I got up as I felt some cramps (like menstrual cramps) and I went to pee. Came back to bed, and started doing the pelvic exercise to see whether the cramps will go away but of course it didn’t. So happened, hubby got up to pee as well and I told him that I was having some cramps. At the same time, I felt a discharge came out and I asked him to help me out of bed as I wanted to check on the discharge. As I got up from bed, a sudden gush of water came out and I quickly went to the toilet. Told hubby that I think my water bag broke and he asked how sure was I. Told him when I sat down on the toilet, another gush of water came out again and also I managed to pee. The water stain on my panty had some little trace of blood too except that I couldn’t tell what colour was the water as I was wearing a green colour panty then.

I started to panic and the first thing I said was “I’m not ready! My work!” – I had a lot of outstanding stuff then which I thought I would clear them in the next week or so since it’s 3 weeks away to my due date. Hubby knocked some sense into me and then I said “My hospital bag! It’s only half packed!” I only started packing it the week before during Christmas as I started having cramps then and it panicked me big time. Trying to calm myself down, I told him I’m going to shower and wash my hair while instructing him on what else to pack into my hospital bag.

By the time we’re ready with me putting a maternity pad on (I was leaking a little bit by bit after that), we headed to the hospital. It was about 3 plus in the morning when we arrived there and we checked in. They put me in a room and the nurse checked me there and said I was only 1cm dilated and my cervix was still hard. She also added that my baby would only come out in the evening. By this time I have yet to experience any contractions. She said that hubby can go home first to rest and come back later. I asked if I can go back (thinking that to wait till evening was such a long time more) and she said cannot as my water bag had broken and I couldn’t risk any infection. Anyway, hubby didn’t want to go home and said that he would sleep in the car downstairs first and to call him if anything. We brought a nail clipper along and I cut all my finger nails – something we were told to do from many people as we don’t want to risk hubby getting cut from me! :)

The nurse inserted some stuff up my bum to clear my bowels and then asked me to rest. About 4 plus in the morning, the contractions started and it was about every 5 minutes. Although it was bearable, I couldn’t sleep with the contractions. I was thinking how was I going to last till evening not getting any sleep at all. Anyway, about 6am, the contractions became more intense and I tried to stand it as long as I could. Towards 6-30am, I called for the nurse and told her that the contractions are getting more intense. She checked me there and said I’m only 2cm dilated and that my cervix was still hard. She gave me several options for the pain but I told her if I’m going to take the jab, I might as well take epidural (since I read that the jab only eases the pain a little). She said I can only take the epidural when I’m 3cm dilated. Told her I will think about it and let her know, thinking that I may be able to stand the pain. She added that my baby is still facing upwards and needs to turn around (towards my bum) so that I will dilate faster. And she left the room.

When she left, I spoke to Rye Li and said “please turn the other way” and the next thing I knew, a contraction came and it was so darn painful that I immediately call for the nurse again. At that time, I was also thinking that I won’t be able to bear the pain till evening and I told the nurse that I want epidural there and then. She asked me whether I was sure and whether I want to discuss with hubby (who was sleeping in the car then) and I said yes. She asked me to go clear my bowels again as she would transfer me to the delivery ward and that I had to wait for the epidural doctor who would be coming all the way from Ampang (I delivered at Taman Desa Medical Centre).

So I called hubby to come up while I went to clear my bowels again. When he came, it was about 7am already and we were transferred to the delivery ward. It was tough to walk with contractions. Every time a contraction came, I had to stop, suffered and then walk again.

I was put on a chair in the delivery room and was given a milo to drink. I felt like vomiting at the same time (probably due to the pain) and was given a plastic container as a standby. By this time, I was already doing the breathing exercise and hubby tried to do it with me. He was next to my face and I found this irritating and told him to stop. I was trying to fight with the contractions in that, every time a contraction came, I would hold my breath and go against it which the midwives told me later that I shouldn’t as it would be more painful. They asked me to relax as much as I could with the breathing exercise. Easy for them to say!

The next hour was hell while waiting for the darn epidural doctor to arrive and finally he came around 8am. This time I was asked again to clear my bowels before I go up to the ‘delivery bed’ as once the epidural is administered, I won’t be able to get out of the bed. It was extremely tough to walk to the toilet this time round and had to stop in between when the contractions came. Hubby had to assist me since I was limping.

It was tougher to get up on the ‘delivery bed’ with a limping leg and contractions. The midwives and hubby had to help me, literary carried me up. When I was finally settled down, the midwife checked me and said “You can’t have the epidural already as you’re 9cm dilated!”. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this statement at that time. I dilated from 2cm to 9cm in 1 and a half hour! She added “You want me to help you, I can make it 10cm”. I didn’t care what she meant by help but I just nodded my head.

With all the pain that I was going through, I just couldn’t talk anymore but in my head I was cursing at everyone, the midwives, the epidural doctor, my Obgyn and hubby included. In the last 2 hours till Rye Li came out, I didn’t talk at all and my eyes were mostly shut tight then.

Anyway, I think the midwife put a whole fist in “there” and then I heard “Oh, you’re only 8 cm dilated and we have called Dr. Fan already (my Obgyn) and he’s on the way”. And then I was given the gas mask. Hubby tried talking to me to calm me down and told me to do the breathing exercise. Again I found this irritating and I told him “Don’t talk, just stand here!” :) My style is like this, when I’m suffering in pain, don’t tell me what to do, just be there physically. I know he felt helpless then but at that time I was more concern whether I was going to die or not from the pain then those around me.

The midwife inserted the drip inserter thingy into my left hand (or was it the right?!) – mind you, before this, I was terrified about this part as I hate needles. But interestingly, the pain coming from this was nothing compared to the labour pains so I didn’t really recall the pain from this.

My Obgyn came at around 8-30am and I was still only 8cm dilated! He said if Rye Li doesn’t come out by 9-30am, he will do a vacuum and left the room.

I did find some pain relief with the gas mask and I think I inhaled too much and when the midwife realized this, she told me not to inhale too much as I could be high from it. Too late, I was already ‘high’ then and whatever happened after that was as if my soul came out from my body and I was looking at everything like I was watching a movie. The scenes somehow repeated themselves again but what was very real was the pain itself when the contractions came. I was just going with the flow and when the pain came, I actually screamed! I screamed so loud that I was told off by the midwife. She told me when the contractions came, I am to clench my teeth and just breathe through it. She also threatened me that if I were to continue screaming, she will get hubby out of the room. This worked as I dutifully listened to her while cursing her in my head!

The gas also made me very emotional. I felt so cheated there and then. Firstly I was told that my baby would be out in the evening and there was no way I could stand the pain till evening. Then while waiting for an hour for the epidural doctor to arrive, I was told that I could not have it and had to wait for my Obgyn. And when my Obgyn came, he said to wait again for another hour. And then to be threatened by the midwife too. I couldn’t help myself that in between the contractions when it wasn’t painful, I cried like a baby! When the contractions came, I faced up and dealt with the pain, grunting silently. When it went away, I turned left and put my face into hubby’s tummy and cried like a baby!

There was another lady in the next room having her baby at the same time and she was screaming. We could hear her hubby was encouraging her on to push. We all heard it and it frightened me further so I wailed into hubby’s tummy again before the next contraction came. This went on for nearly an hour and next thing I knew, the midwife asked me whether I had the urge to push. To tell you the truth, I was aware that you cannot push until you’re fully dilated but at that time, I really didn’t care whether I was fully dilated or not. So when the midwife asked me, I just nodded my head and I think (my eyes were shut) she checked me there and said that she could see Rye Li’s head already and that she will be calling Dr. Fan now. And I heard hubby saying “I can see baby’s hair!”. Hubby was holding my left hand all this while. During the whole ordeal, I heard the midwife asked him why wasn’t he encouraging me on and he said that I asked him not to.

The midwives prepared me for the delivery and I couldn’t feel hubby’s hand anymore. They strapped my legs to the sides of the bed and while they were doing this, I heard hubby saying ‘Syn, I’m here!” which I was glad he said that so that I know he was still there. Then they made my right hand hold on to the hand bar and wanted my left hand to do the same but hubby said that he will hold on to it. The midwife also asked him was he sure about this and he said it was alright. He later told me that the pain he felt from my nails (even after I cut them off) was nothing compared to what he was seeing me going through. He also told me later that at that time, he didn’t care anymore about the baby as he was so worried seeing me in that condition. All I know was during the whole ordeal I was talking/cussing in my head – I read a pregnancy book “A girlfriend’s guide to pregnancy, what your doctor will not tell you” (or something like that) and one of the things it mentioned was that during delivery, there is no way you can say that you do not want to have the baby anymore. So this was practically going through my head that whether I like it or not, my baby is coming out! Thus, I was thinking in my head that I do not want to have any babies anymore after this! Haha – look where I am now! ;)

When my Obgyn arrived, I was all ready to push and when he gave the green light, I pushed all the way! I didn’t even know that he actually cut me. Mind you again, I was also terrified about this cut thingy but in reality, when you’re going through labour pains, whatever needle or knife that goes through your body is nothing at all!

I only gave one hard push and was waiting for the instructions to push again but instead I heard “you see what is in front of you?!” and I opened my eyes. Rye Li was actually on top of my chest but because she was so light, 2.3kgs/5 pounds, I couldn’t even feel her. The darn midwife opened her legs right in front of my face and asked me what it was! I couldn’t even tell as her vagina wasn’t looking like the vaginas I know, it was protruding out (probably it wasn’t fully formed yet) and she answered for me “it’s a girl yea” and I just nodded my head. She then asked me to kiss her which I did with tears in my eyes and they took her away for cleaning up.

Rye Li came out at 9-28am on 31st December 2005. Actually the clock in the delivery room, the longhand was showing somewhere in between 5-6 so hubby decided that it was 9-28.

It was such a relief that she was out but when my Obgyn took out my placenta, it was another round of minor pain too but nothing much compared to the pain before that. He asked me whether I want to see my placenta and I said “No thank you or else you will never see me again!”. He did his stuff and sewed me up. While sewing me up, he was describing to me the kind of stitches he was giving me which will end up looking like just one knot if you were to look at it. And the whole time he was saying that, I was thinking to myself as if I would take a mirror and look there which he told me I could. No thank you! In fact I didn’t touch myself there for more than a month after that! I only touched up to my anus for cleaning and the rest was water while I dabbed with toilet paper after that. See how traumatized I was!

In short, I had a total of 7 hours labour which breaks down to 5 hours of contractions with less than 3 hours of real pain :-

1) 2-30am – water bag broke
2) 3-30am – admitted to hospital, only 1 cm dilated
3) 4-30am – contractions started, mild and bearable
4) 6-30am – intense contractions, getting unbearable, only 2 cm dilated
5) 7am - 8am – in deep pain but couldn’t take epidural as 8 cm dilated by 8am
6) 8am - 9-28am – was in hell waiting to be fully dilated
7) 9-28am – finally baby is out!

Now we shall see how Baby H’s birth would be like…wish me luck!


KittyCat said...

Hi! Big day coming up soon eh? I remember almost falling off my office chair when you wrote "I delivered already" when we chatted!

Remember this post Week 37 - Is it time yet?
- Rye Li's pic is there :-)

The gas gave me the same effects too!

Thinking of you, my dear friend :-)

mjey said...

hey there.........

So its a gal again ha! When are you due ah?

wen said...

hope u hv a smooth birth! take care.. Baby H.. Hayley?