It somehow seems fitting that one must share war stories of birth on motherhood blogs although I’m sure those are the most boring posts, but nevertheless obligatory. So here goes:
23 Dec 7am – last day of work before maternity leave. Woke up and saw blood. Freaked out for a moment then remembered its normal at 39 weeks+
9am – headed to office to rush some last minute work prior to appointment with Dr Paul Tseng covering for my regular OB, Dr Lai Fon-Min. Frantically prioritizing work that will be hard for others to take over. Told husband to be prepared since with Sophia she was delivered when I freaked out and went to my previous OB’s clinic when I had a show.
1030am – appointment with Dr Paul Tseng. Told even though having a show, cervix still closed and delivery could be up to a week away but need to see what CTG shows.
1130am – CTG showed regular contractions every 5 minutes but Dr Paul said can still be Braxton Hicks since I can still walk talk and smile. The intensity readings also show nothing because depends on how tight the straps are pulled.
Noon – back to office and frantically clearing work.
6pm – Left some very minor loose ends and need to pack and bring back some things. Emailed saying will do so on Christmas Eve. Messaged friend to go to volunteer organisation’s meeting together. Continued to tie loose ends.
645pm – left for meeting. On the way felt painful menstrual cramp like pain in waves. Made mental note to time contractions during meeting.
7:30pm – reached meeting. Used contraction timing app to time while going through meeting and found contractions are 5 minutes apart and last about a minute each.
9:30pm – while sent home by a friend who had no idea about my contractions, called family and told them to get hospital bag into the car and let’s head to the hospital when I get home.
10:30pm – reached Thomson Medical Centre and told to head up to delivery ward for checks.
*from this point I have only very vague concepts of time
Hooked up to CTG showing regular contractions. Asked for pain rating and I said about 4. Cervix check shows only 1cm dilated. Maternity ward called Dr Paul who said I can go home and come back when it’s so painful I cannot talk.
After discussion, husband and I decided to stay for observation.
Around midnight Dr Paul dropped by as he was delivering. Obligingly he said it’s ok you can stay and can transfer to the maternity ward instead of staying in delivery ward. Midwives decide to keep me in delivery ward and in fact preparing a delivery room for me rather than keeping in observation ward “even though I am early”. In the meantime another lady was pushed into the observation ward and I overheard that she was 4cm dilated and only 35 weeks.
At around 2am contractions got quite painful and I told the midwives. They asked whether I wanted epidural, this jab thing or gas. I asked whether it’s too early to get epidural. It seems the midwives were assuming I was still only at early labour and actual labour could be a long time away. Midwife said she’ll measure me and see how. But first let’s transfer into the delivery room which is now ready.
Went to delivery room and found measured 6cm. Asked again about pain management option. Said I’ll try gas. Told it reduces pain by 50% which sounds good enough. Nope, I would say it reduces by about 10%. Asked for epidural. Told heartbeat is getting low as baby tries to move down so need to monitor.
Monitored for what felt like 15 minutes and given the go ahead to call anesthetist. Told it will take half an hour. Given IV in preparation.
I rapidly look distressed and told junior midwife that pressure was building up below and I feel like pushing. Measured during a contraction and waterbag spontaneously burst in the process, causing chaos as the junior midwife shouted for the seniors saying full dilation, need to deliver now, cancel anesthetist, call Dr Paul.
No strength to hold gas mask. Husband told to hold it basically constantly. Told to breath breath breath. At one point I was losing consciousness and could hear and move but it felt dreamlike and no pain at all. Pushed mask away and breathed normally. Nurses started to alternate between gas and oxygen depending on whether contracting but I had to remind them a few times else I’ll get too drowsy. Told Dr Paul “running” over.
Felt to me like midwife was holding baby in when she told me she’s protecting my perineum. Dr Paul finally arrived and jokingly said zonked out from gas while he got dressed. I laughed and said yar completely. Once he sat down, 2 pushes and she’s out. 1 for the head and another for the rest of her.
On hindsight, maybe I pushed too hard and should have let her come out more gently for a smaller tear but at that point I just wanted it to be over.