It was a wonderful feeling being pregnant with Baby Bean. I felt like I was never alone. All the joys and sorrows of each day, they were all shared with him. But the time finally came for him to come out into this world :) This is my birth story.
I looked forward everyday to his little nudges, kicks, squirms that only I could feel.
To be honest, I was really afraid of the day when I had to give birth. I am scared of pain, of injections, of operating theaters, heck, I wasn’t even too enthusiastic about showing all the nurses and gynae my privates! Deep down, I was also afraid that my baby mightn’t be as healthy as we hope. There were plenty of what-ifs in my head, just like most other pregnant mamas I suppose.
Here is where it all began – my birth story:
CHRISTMAS EVE – 24th December 2013.
It was a really good day this day Bean chose. I was looking forward to a nice potluck lunch at the office and a prenatal massage at Valerie’s when my water bag broke at 6.45am in the morning. Could have broken earlier I guess cos I kept having to go to toilet that night.
I wet my undies. I thought perhaps it’s just more discharge than normal but it wasn’t. I knew that in the next 30mins when I soaked through the pantyliner I put on.
I mildly considered not telling Peter until I was very sure. Perhaps it’ll take me a couple more hours to be sure. Perhaps I could still make it to the office (cos I had stuff to do still).
But I knew. I knew my water bag had broken and that Baby Bean was ready. I told my sleepy husband at 7am and he jumped right out of bed and said “ok let’s go”. Hahaha it was hilarious that moment.
We spent the next 2 hours getting ready. I showered and had to poo twice too! On hindsight, so what people always say about your body cleansing itself prior to birth is true, well, for me at least! We packed the last of our hospital bag. I felt no pain. No contractions. Nothing. I felt normal. My MIL even walked in on me while I was getting changed cos she was worried too.
Finally we made our way to TMC and got warded at 9.30am. I got changed into a pink gown (with a very big opening at the entire back area) and the nurses there put me on the bed and strapped me to the CTG machine to monitor Baby Bean’s heartbeat and my contractions. I was still leaking a lot of amniotic fluid.
Turns out, I was having contractions 2 mins apart though it wasn’t strong yet. We could hear his little heartbeat from the monitor. It was steady and rose with every contraction.
I told myself to take it all as it comes (as Peter’s best friend, Jeffrey says it). 10.30am, a nurse came and did a vaginal check. She said I was 2cm dilated. Wow. How did all these happen without any pain, still? Nurse said “Mdm, you are in labour. And your water bag did break, so you cannot go home.”
Reality finally set in. I AM IN LABOUR. O M G.
Peter went to the admission counter to check us in. 10.48am, a nurse came and inserted some gooey white stuff into my *ahem* and told me to hold it for as long as I can before going to poop. More pooping?!
At this juncture, I had my privates inspected and prodded till I really kinda just gave up whatever modesty I had left. Haha.
I held it in for 15 mins like a good girl and went. Dr Benjamin Tham, my gynae, still hasn’t made his appearance yet. I was getting hungry.
11.15am, I had a “bloody show” (this is pregnancy term for a bloody mucus discharge).
Hours passed and we were transferred to the labour room where there was only 1 bed, huge lights, baby trolleys, surgery apparatus and a comfortable leather arm chair for the husband/birth companion. So this was where I was going to give birth. This room. Room 05 at TMC. It really was a lot homelier than I imagined it to be. At least it wasn’t all steel and cold around here. I started to feel the contractions and it was getting stronger.
I finally got the answer to the question I asked the most throughout my pregnancy. What does contractions feel like? They feel like period cramps X 100 (depending on how painful your usual period cramps are) and they come in intervals. So you get to rest and feel absolutely normal for a minute before the next contraction hits and cripples you for a moment.
1.42pm, Dr Tham came in all cheery. It was the festive season (Christmas Eve!!) after all. He checked my cervix and announced that I was 3cm dilated. He asked the nurse to put me on the drip and administer Oxytocin to help with the dilation and quicken the labour time. It took me 3 hours to dilate 1cm more (2cm at 10.30am to 3cm at 1.42pm). That kinda sounded like I was going be here all day and night.
I was hoping he’ll stay in there a little longer but when the water broke, I knew Baby Bean truly chose his own birthdate. Whether it’s this day or the next, my body is in charge now. I requested for epidural and food.
All I could think of was I am hungry, it really friggin’ hurts and I want food & epidural please!
Epidural was another thing I was afraid of. They will inject into your spine which many have said it’ll hurt. After the doctor left, the nurse informed me that the anaesthetist will be here in 10mins to administer epidural. The contractions were super painful by now. I had to clutch the sides of the bed to endure the pain.
Peter tried to help by hugging me but no, no touching allowed when I am having a contraction. It was that painful. I was gripping the bed handles and curling up in a little ball to ride through the pain. All the while in my head, I was wondering to myself, did I ask for an epidural too late?
2pm, the anaesthetist came. Thank goodness she came on time, as promised. I don’t know why but the anaesthetist who attended to me was super gorgeous. She was so pretty! And efficient. Compared to the contractions, the epidural wasn’t almost painless. She also told me not to move when she has injected me and worked with the contraction timing to ensure she did it when there were no contractions. It was a good partnership there.
So by this time, I had two injections already. :( One on my hand for the drip and the other in my back.
I asked the anaesthetist what if I needed to pee? She said that a urethra will be inserted to help me pee. All I could think was, omg… more things are going to be inserted?
2.30pm, a egg mayo sandwich and milo was served. YAY! So hungry can. No side effects of the epidural yet.
3.45pm, the said urethra was inserted. I couldn’t feel much cos the epidural was already starting to take effect. It is kinda miraculous how it extracted pee from me. I didn’t even need to do anything. It just extracted pee. The contractions started feeling like it was pushing my baby out. I commented on that to the husband, saying how the contractions actually felt like it was helping me push the baby out.
4pm, Dr Tham came in and did a second check on me to see how wide my cervix has dilated. He exclaimed in surprise that I am fully dilated and ready to push! I was like huh? Like, as in, I am ready to give birth, NOW NOW? He said yeh! And that I dilated very quickly as if this is my 4th or 5th child. He also said that whatever I did while I was pregnant helped. Ah, that must be all the prenatal massages, pilates, chiropractic sessions and I was also crazy active during my pregnancy.
I am totally not ready for this! I was all convinced that labour will take more than 12 hours and that we’ll stay overnight in the room waiting too! Dr Tham said he’ll be back in 30 mins.
4.30pm, no Dr Tham but the nurse came and taught me how to push and told me to keep pushing. I asked if we needed to wait for the doctor, she said he’s on his way. We’re like OKKKKKK, what if the baby comes out! She assured us that he’ll be here. We started to push with every contraction.
I also started shivering uncontrollably. It was one of the side effects of the epidural. I kept shivering. I wasn’t cold but my teeth were chattering. It was weird managing the pushing & shivering together. I didn’t stop shivering till I gave birth too.
Seriously, with the epidural on, I could feel my legs, and toes and everything but the pain – epidural is one kind of amazing! I could also feel the baby’s head moving along the birth canal! The husband said he could see our baby’s hair already! Omg. It did not feel real at all. Peter is so brave. :)
4.45pm, Dr Tham arrived all cheery again and started to suit up. He inspected and said good, we’re ready for the last leg. We pushed and pushed and towards the end, I learnt how to push right. I really have to focus on the baby (which I can feel) and push without fear. The baby came real quick.
When the baby’s head was out, Dr Tham slowly guided his tiny shoulders and body out carefully and no more pushing was required. Peter was given the honour of cutting the umbilical cord and he did it in one quick snip. Right after that, Baby Bean cried. Oh how joyous it is to hear the sound of your own son cry for the first time. My colleague’s cynical warning kept replaying in my head “they start crying and they never stop!”. Hahaha!
They placed Baby Bean on my body and I held on to his little tiny body that’s covered in all sorts of mucus and blood. I could still feel Dr Tham helping me deliver my placenta. I felt so light and empty in my tummy after the placenta was delivered. :) I have a picture of it but I won’t scar you by posting it here. :)
And so, we named him Daniel.
And that’s my birth story. I was unbelievably exhausted after. Felt like I ran a marathon and needed sleep immediately.
Now that it’s all over, my new life as a Mom begins. I saw this article the other day and wanted to share it with all who has a son. Here are 17 things a son needs from his mother.
Stay tuned to an avalanche of posts & reviews on everything baby-related! :)
Onwards to post natal confinement care & post natal slimming!