Wow, where to start. Everything happened so much more differently than what we expected. I’m not going to be posting much photos here because I’ve already spammed my friends on Facebook with photos of what was going on in the hospital the entire time.
The hubs and I set up a live “Facebook Album” feed where I would take photos and basically write short blurbs on what was happening at that moment in time. It made us feel quite loved when after the end of it all, we were told by friends that they were following the nail biting album and checking religiously for news.
First off, we were going for a natural birth right? But at 42 weeks, bub just wasn’t having any of it. We were anxiously waiting for him to come out, with us getting more and more nervous by the day.
There are lots of risks that come with staying in the womb for too long, least of all the failure of the placenta, increased chances of meconium (baby poop) asphyxiation (breathing it in when it’s excreted in the womb), and generally issues with his being too big to come out and etc.
So with a heavy heart and anxious spirit, we opted for an induction after which we would observe how my body would take to the drugs and hopefully continue forward with a normal labour.
Having made the decision, I steeled myself against any negative possibilities and willed my body to cooperate.
Sunday, the 25th of January
10:00 AM – We checked into Mount Alvernia Hospital . The concierge ushered us towards the lifts which would take us to the delivery suites on the 3rd floor and there upon we were shown a cosy little room with an attached toilet.
In the room there lies a bed, a CTG machine (my best friend), a reclining chair where anxious papa can take a rest, and a TV and trolley platform table for over the bed eating.
We had a short tussle with the nurses over whether I could go home after the insertion of the Prostin (induction medicine) because we were deathly afraid of racking up hospital bills.
Anyway, the plan was to only come to the hospital when contractions were 1 minute long and 3-5 minutes apart. Putting in a tablet to start labour meant that getting to that stage might be A WHILE. Mount A also has this ridiculous rule about how if you’re in the delivery suite over midnight, it’s counted as an observation day – which conveniently is not included inside the maternity package.
Anyway, we figured that we were there super early in the morning already, what were the chances that we’d cross midnight right?
And so, we stayed and started getting ourselves comfy. I set myself up with a 3 metre long iphone charging cable and patted down all the pillows and got into a nice recline. Had to pee into a cup and change into the standard blue hospital gown which left me feeling rather naked coz no bras allowed, and you’re basically just naked in there.
Got strapped into the CTG machine for a bit of monitoring before the pills got inserted and bunkered down for the long wait.
We took a bit of time out to say a quick prayer to God for the time that was to come and also that things would happen as they needed to.
At 11:00AM, the first pill got inserted. I had to be monitored for another hour to see if bub and body would take well to pill so the hubs and I watched TV and played a round of rummykub.
At 12:00NN Lunch was served. Mood? Happy and light, getting a bit bored so after lunch, we went for a walk and explored the hotel grounds and the level which we were on. I wear a kimono over my blue standard hospital gown but am technically entirely naked underneath it all. So it was pretty interesting walking around the wards…
There are babies in the nurseries on the third level and the hubs and I had the chance to see how the babies do in the nursery. It really just made us even more anxious for things to happen… I even bumped into one of the mummies from my Jan 2015 mummies group who had just delivered the day before at Mount A too!
Can anybody say SELFIE? 😀
We went to visit the gift store and purchased a crap tonne of chocolates and sweets to help while the time away. Unfortunately the Mount A pharmacy was closed, so that kinda shortened our jaunt a little.
And being a hospital, there really isn’t much to see, so we headed back to the delivery suite, which honestly was turning out to be a little bit more like a hotel room as it is, and found ways to entertain ourselves.
We advise any other expectant mums to pack in some cards or board games to keep themselves busy. For the hubs and I? We brought rummykub!
2:00PM I have been consigned to the bed for another CTG scan. Apparently they need to do one every 4 hours. Go figure. Best to make sure that bubby is safe anyway right? As long as they don’t charge us every time they switch the dang machine on.
6:00PM, we were wondering whether anything was supposed to happen by now! We had actually asked some time in between when the next time someone would come and check me would be and they said that 6 hours after the first pill had been inserted AT LEAST. Well, we were getting quite impatient and I was definitely still not feeling much yet so we tried to hurry things along.
I can start feeling tiny contractions now but they are no where near noticeable unless I concentrate on them.
7:00PM Finally someone updates us with news that our doctor says to go ahead with the 2nd pill. It takes a really long while for someone to come back to us with the second pill, so more TV watching ahead..
8:00PM When the 2nd pill of prostin is inserted, the nurse tells me I’m like BARELY dilated. Looks like a long more wait to go.. I’m hooked up to the CTG machine again and I tell the hubs that I’m going to try and get some sleep. Maybe something MORE will happen this time.
10:00PM Contractions are getting a little stronger so I suggest that we go for a little walk to let gravity help with baby coming down a little. The nurses keep telling me that if I’m not screaming, they don’t think anything will happen anytime soon, so I’m really getting quite desperate to get things moving alone. And all this time, I keep my friends’ words of experience in my head – that dilation can happen quick as lightning. 1 to 10cm within the hour… So we pray that that’s me right there.
While on our jaunt, we were called up by the nurses at the delivery wards to tell us that our Doc had arrived to give us a checkup! We hurried as fast as could back to our room to wait for news…
11:00PM The doc did a quick check and said that I was at 1 and half cm open. Which was much better than hardly open at all.
He did a sweep of the membranes saying that at least this time the cervix was more open for him to do so and hopefully that would help things along a little more.
At this point in time, the husband and I realise that there is no way that baby is going to come out on our chosen day AT ALL. And there’s nothing we can do about it. Hell, we’ve already been in the hospital for so damn long that even if we were to pack up and go home and sleep in our own beds tonight, we would still get charged for observation.
The hubs went down to the finance desk to ask a few quick questions about what would be the better option, and it looks that staying overnight would actually be cheaper than going home. Both ways would incur charges, so in order to keep costs down, it looks like we’ll have to stay….
Monday, the 26th of January
2:00AM We’re woken up by a blinding light. Apparently some inconsiderate nurse can’t tell that lights off means people are sleeping. But any way, they are here to do that routine 4 hourly CTG check.
I’m happy to get strapped in and everything, but at the very least, they could be a little bit more considerate when waking us up right?
To be honest, I’m already feeling contractions quite badly after the 2nd pill is put in, so I’m not even sleeping properly anyway.. Every 5-7 minutes I feel it coming and I have to breathe and practice keeping myself calm. I refuse to ask for the hubs’ hand because I know I’d crush his bones. So perhaps with the CTG scanning at least I’m staying awake for something useful…
10:00AM The doc came in bright and early to give me another check and now I’m at 2.5 cm.- which IS an improvement. But not much… He left the room to check on his other patients and gave us a few moments to consider our options. But said that we should do more to hurry things along. After all, I’ve already been in the hospital for one whole day….
Here are the facts. Bearing in mind that we still wanted a natural labour, we could:-
- put me on a pitocin drip to speed up labour
- burst the water bag
- continue waiting. Bub’s CTG scans are showing up that he’s been really strong and resilient throughout all that’s been introduced to my body, but he really just seems to be stubborn and doesn’t want to come out!
While obviously we wanted to opt for a number 3, doing our sums showed us that we just don’t have the money to continue on the natural birth path that we wanted. We’ve already inserted the pills, we’ve already been monitored to the teeth…. What’s left to try right.
So we pick the worst of the evils and have my water bag burst hoping that this would be the right choice for us to see some results. After all, we can always do the drip later right?
2:00PM The hubs helps with back rubs and helping me to count and time my breaths so that I can keep focused with what’s going on. The contractions are really getting quite painful now so I hope that that means that bub is coming soon!!
At this point, I’m thinking mad thoughts. Like maybe it’s time for bubby to come out now, but my pain tolerance is so wonderful thanks to hypnobirthing that I’m just not going to scream. After all, didn’t another friend of mine say that contractions was tolerable with the proper breathing and calming methods?
To be honest, I feel a lot of pressure at my cervix. How I know it’s my cervix? it’s because it’s the bit that the doctor swept last night. Besides that part, my abs and my private parts don’t hurt at all! Maybe there IS something wrong with my cervix… But I’m not going to worry about that now…
4:00PM The doc has come in to see me again and to tell me that…. I have barely progressed at all. Sometime during the last hour or so and the contractions, the hubs and I discussed about what we were going to do if the doctor gave us bad news again.
Honestly, the doctor talked to us about the reality of having a natural birth. Did we really want to hang on and see where things were going?
It was highly possible that a natural birth would still be possible. But am I resilient enough to suffer another 24 hours of contractions with barely any progress? If the LAST 24 hours were anything to go by, it might be forever before the bubby decides to come out and I was feeling like there wasn’t an end in sight as it is.
The hubs and I made the call to go for a C section.
We’d waited long enough. We wanted to see the baby and we would deal with the additional surgery costs and anesthetists costs and whatever it was later on. Not to mention having to deal with the chemicals in my body and all the other repurcussions that come with choosing the surgical option.
I had a bad cry – bawling and sobbing – when my husband was out of the room. And I’m pretty certain that it was obvious I had a cry because our doc came in to hear our decision and the first things he said were words of reassurance that I had given things my best shot. A one and a half day of tolerating things here and there was a really good of a fight and not to be discouraged that things deviated from our plans.
And while I’m loathe to say this, but after being through the whole ordeal, the very first gynae whom I had condemned and scoffed at for saying this was right. First and foremost – “Healthy mummy, healthy baby.”
And thus I went into preparation for the epidural that would be administered so I would be awake while bub was pulled from my womb and we steeled ourselves for the operating theatre.
6:00PM I’m “shower capped” and prepped onto a sort of gurney. I have to lift myself on to the operating table and flip to my side so that I can get the injection into my spine which will take all the pain away.
Had a bit of an issue with some of the OR staff because they were so curt and unfeeling. Some of them were literally shoving me around like I was a piece of meat. One particular girl who I felt was of a certain nationality literally walked into my stomach while trying to “support me” as she puts it from falling off the table.
Somehow in spite of their “enthusiasm to get the surgery underway, they forgot about the human touch and that their “patient” was literally squealing in pain from the contractions and the fact that they were not taking the time to explain what was happening to me.
6:15PM The epidural is taking effect. I can feel my feet absolutely numb. I know I should be able to move my toes but I can’t. It feels like I’m misaligned on the table like I’m lopsided on one side of my body rather than the other. The anesthetist tells me that it’s common to feel this way…..
I can barely focus on what’s going on. It’s really like I’m high on something.
On hind sight, while the pain has entirely disappeared, the epidural has made me so damn dopey that I can’t recall a single thing about the delivery at all. Including when they lifted bub out of my abdomen. Apparently I was told that I’d feel some pressure – my hubs said they literally went to town trying to push the bubby out of my tummy…..
6:23PM It’s finished. My beautiful bub is brought to me after having been given a quick wipe down and we have a quick family shot taken.
I vaguely remember my hubs having a total meltdown with tears of joy. For me, I regret that I was so woozy that I couldn’t have had my own moment like that. But I know that I’ve done something amazing and that it’s only the beginning of an amazing journey for the 3 of us.
Later, I would be told that my hubs barely remembers anything either except for the moment when our bub is placed in our arms and he got to clamp the cord. So I guess it’s not just me who finds that the most unforgettable moment of a child’s birth is when you see and hold him for the very first time.
After all the things that we’ve been through in this long and arduous journey, it all seems so worth it when we look at our bubby.
Today (or rather at the last jaundice test for the bub), we were told that he’s already hit 3.1kg which is amazing. Being born at 2.9kg also meant that all the worries we’ve had about weight over the past few months were absolutely unfounded.
Also, for babies when they left the hospital, weight normally drops from water weight loss – our bub clocked in 2.7kg right before his discharge to go home. The fact that he’s actually bumped right back up and MORE is amazing and just speaks of how God’s providence has really manifested itself.
Not just that either, but the fact that bubby chose the 26th of January to come out via a C section. When I was fretting about controlling his birth and “planning” his birthday, God again proves that it’s His plan that carries through and not ours. And in the light of everything, we just feel so humbled.
And to top it off, the gynae actually cleared ME for discharge a day early too despite the fact that I was recovering from a C sect operation! Apparently being able to poop and pee and walk around upright is good enough for him to certify my health and recovery and send me home. Not that I will complain either to finally settle down in our house and get used to having our bubby with us…
So here we are, after an experience that must have been ordained by God to strengthen us and grow us, blessed with a gorgeous kicking and screaming little bubby, so full of life and God’s blessing and we’ll never forget it for as long as we live 🙂