Next week on 8th March, Nat would be 4 months and I thought I should document whatever I can recall about his birth while most details are still fresh in my mind. I remember the first two trimesters flying by while the third was really slow, or rather felt really slow because it was so near the end. Even at the end, I had no sign of labour. I repeat, absolutely zero. Eventually Nat was induced on 8th Nov 2016 even though my EDD was 18th Nov 2016.
7 Nov 2016 (Mon): I went for a routine gynae appointment. After 37 weeks, I was to see my gynae once a week just in case there was some sign that labour is near. However on 31 Oct 2016, my Doc asked if we wanted to come every 10 days since there was no sign yet but being the paranoid person I am, I stuck with once a week (am so glad I did!)
So at the routine check up, it was revealed that Nat was not growing anymore. His estimated weight was stuck at 2.9kg and because I have the tendency to ask scary questions at my appointments, I enquired with my Doctor about the state of my placenta – whether it was still working and if nutrients were reaching him. Previously at my 36 weeks check up, I asked him where my umbilical cord was… only to find out it was wrapped around Nat’s neck! So back to my placenta, my Doctor said that there were some signs of calcification i.e. hardening of the placenta. So in view of the above, he advised us to get Nat induced by the end of the week. He told us to pick any day that we were comfortable with to come in as long as I induce by 11 Nov 2016z (Okay usually I thought the Doctors would advise on the date so we were very stunned and clueless.)
Anyhow, since we could choose any day within that week, why did we decide to go in on that night itself ?
On one hand, I had friends who told me waiting a day would be better as I would get a day to rest. That’s legit. My mum was also surprised that we could pick any day but said that the day didn’t matter as long as I was comfortable. That’s also equally legit. HJ was of the opinion that since the induction had to be done anyway, regardless of which date, why delay the inevitable? True that.
The catalyst was actually a phone call I made to my Doctor’s office in the late afternoon just to double confirm the procedure of getting admitted and induced with the nurse. It was then that the nurse said that my Doctor was a bit worried given my placenta’s status and the fact that Nat had not grown at all since last week’s check up.
That just tipped the ball off the cliff and we decided to get admitted on 7 Nov 2016 at 1130pm to be safe. Actually Nat’s movements were also beginning to slow down, which was an abnormality because he would usually be very active at night between 8-11pm but that day, he was really sluggish so that made me more anxious to quickly reach the hospital so that they could check if his vital stats are all okay.
8 Nov 2016 (Tue):
- 1145pm – We settled the admission procedures and went to the ward to wait for the nurse to come see me and monitor Nat’s vital stats. Heartbeat was all okay but still no sign of contractions yet.
- 130am – I was given a drug to get the contractions started, and was told to buzz the nurses when the pain became unbearable so they could wheel me down to the delivery ward to get my pain killers. Otherwise, the Doctor would come see me at 7am.
- 230am – The contractions started and felt like INTENSE period cramps. Then I suddenly felt the urge to go to the toilet to pass motion so I woke HJ up to help me walk to the toilet because I could not walk by myself with the contractions and pain going on.
- 330am – After emptying my bowels, I told HJ that it was really getting painful, making it difficult to sleep but I wasn’t sure what unbearable pain was supposed to be like. At that moment, HJ called the nurse to update her and then she got panicky that I went to empty my bowels myself!? Instead, what I should have done was press the buzzer because apparently that’s a sign of labour… That was when the nurse said it was time to go to the delivery ward to get pain killers.
- 5am – I was given epidural (finally!) and to be honest, I had fears of the needle going into the wrong place, getting paralysis and what not… but at that juncture, there was no time to be paranoid about it because I just needed pain relief pronto! In fact, the process was not as scary as I thought it would be. The nurse told me to breathe into an oxygen mask (probably laughing gas), and then for the next few minutes, I felt very lightheaded, almost like I was high on something. In the end, the administration of the epidural felt like a long hard pinch? I remember the anesthesiologist telling me to keep very still, and so I did. I also requested for a low dosage so that I can still feel my legs. I was able to wriggle both my feet but maybe because of the way I was lying down, my right leg felt more numb than my left but the nurses assured me that it was normal. So yes, the epi was magical because while the monitor reflected more regular contractions, I didn’t feel a thing! At this time, I was still only 2cm dilated and the nurse said that it may take an hour to dilate 1cm. At this rate, I was prepping for a loooong wait because I had 8cm more to go i.e. 8 hours!?
- 630am – I was still only 3cm dilated and I remember texting my family chat group that if after 12 hours of induction, still no sign of labor, I would have to go for emergency C-section.
- 8am – I was wheeled into the labour suite to wait for me to reach 10cm dilation.
- 930am – My gynae came to the suite and I was only 4cm dilated then. Whatever happened to 1cm every hour?! This was also when he burst my water bag although what flowed out was more like a combination of amniotic fluid mixed with blood? It was quite scary but whatever I could not see or did not know was better for me and the nurses said that it was normal. At this point, knowing I had 6cm more to go, I was gearing myself up for a long wait until maybe in the afternoon?! What was worse was that I was getting really hungry because while on the epi, I can’t eat anything and only sip water. So the last thing I ate was some crackers at 2am which I could not finish because I was in pain. Next time, I must remember to eat supper before getting administered into the hospital!
- 1125am – After HJ came back from his breakfast, the nurse came in to check and somehow I was 10cm dilated !? That was fast and really caught me by surprise. The next words she uttered was, “Okay you can push already, I’ll inform the Doctor.” Omg. At that moment, everything we learnt at pre-natal class just went out the window. I had no idea how to push or breathe of which the midwife reassured me and said that she would tell me exactly what to do, I just had to follow her instructions. So how was I supposed to push? I was told to use my core to push as opposed to straining my face and holding my breath. I could only push after each time a wave of contractions came. So because I didn’t have a very high dosage of epi, I could feel the waves and that was my indication to push, or rather, do a very big “ab crunch” because that’s what it felt like. My Doctor only came closer to 12pm for the finale.
- 1205pm – So after about 40minutes of “training” with the midwife, this was it. The final wave and push and the next thing we knew, Nat came out. Apparently, he was in some fetal distress and pooped while inside so thankfully he came out. I still remember my main motivation at that time was FOOD. It was pure hunger that motivated me to push properly so that I could quickly be stitched up and eat my lunch back in the ward hahaha! Throughout this time, HJ’s behaviour was quite hilarious, almost as if he was one of the nurses working in the hospital from how he was standing alongside the midwife instructing me how to breath and push using my core.
Think the pic below sums up the experience quite well – the last ultrasound that showed no weight gain, us waiting for the induction meds to work and finally, Nat and our first family pic 🙂