Labor Day

first skin to skin contact
I wish I journal about my previous 2 birthing experience but I never got around to them.  With Bee, being a first time mom, there was just no time to write.  With Love, 2 days in the hospital, waiting to go from 5-7cm, with no sleep, drained all the energy I have and took days to recover.  When things settled in I was no longer in the mood to write about it.  With this pregnancy, I really make an effort to write more about it.  It's my last chance after all !  I decided to take some time to write about this birthing experience since the whole ordeal is still fresh in my mind and our little guy is a good sleeper !

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Just like that, days and weeks of sitting around impatiently waiting for a sign, and it came at the wee hour of morning.  I was woken up by a cramp in my lower adomen.  I don't get menstrual cramp but I assumed this is what it would feel like as it's quite low.  I thought the cramp was caused by the way I sleep.  I've been getting all sort of pains and discomforts these past weeks so to me it's one more to add to the list.  I gently rub my tummy then went back to sleep.  About an hour later, I was up again with the same cramp.  3:59 am announced on my cel phone.  Again I went back to sleep.

5:15 am, cramp lasted for about 30 seconds.  Could this be the sign I'm looking for ?  I am uncertain.  The past days have been confusing.  I have been feeling tightening around my tummy regularly, some light, some painful ones.  Yesterday I went into the hospital with what I deemed are labor contractions.  They were 5-7 min. apart regularly for an hour so off we went.  In the birthing unit, I was assessed and was between 3-4cm dilated.  It's still very very early the nurse said.  She discharged me and told me to walk a lot to speed up the process.

We went home and went to the park.  I was really tired but managed to walk a few laps around the playground. Nothing happened that night.

The cramp today is bearable but it did repeat itself 3 times, even after changing sleeping position.  I decided to call the birthing unit for advice.  The nurse on the other line told me to take a warm shower and see if it helps.  If it keeps coming back, then I should come in for an assessment.  The warm shower and rocking side to side didn't help as the cramp came during and after the shower.   I sat around for another 20 min. to feel things out.  It's not painful so maybe I'll wait til morning.  But....but what if this is contractions and things progress fast.  I don't want to take chances so I woke C up to take me in for assessment.

We got to the hospital around 6:30am then went in to Admitting.  Once paper work are done and they tagged my arm, we were taken up to the birthing unit before 7am.  The nurse assessed and admitted me because I was 5cm dilated and my contractions was every 4-5 min.  Very early labor but it is the start of things.

It turned out those light cramps were "contractions"...I didn't experience them with my previous 2.  With Bee and Lovebug, it was the regular tightening (like Braxton Hicks) every few minutes that caused us to make a trip to hospital.  And I was admitted both times as I was 5cm dilated.

In my birthing room, I was told to walk or bounce on the ball if I'm up to it, but don't over exert myself as I need energy for later.  I sat around for 15 min. then thought maybe I should try walking.  While I circled the room, C went to get coffee and breakfast. From 5cm to 10cm is quite a way to go.  Hopefully this baby will arrive today.  I really dread being in this waiting space.

8:30am and here I am still walking and praying and playing Candy Crush to kill time.  Contractions are still happening, less like cramp but strong tightening around my whole abdomen, but they're not painful.  Without any level of discomfort I'm not progressing into stage 2, which is active labor.  This sucks.

I sat on the bed, staring at C who's staring back at me.  "anything ?" he asked.  "same as before, nothing has changed" I said.

At around 9 am I got one major cramp that I have to ask C to rub my back.  I looked at him and said, "I think it's happening".

The nurse came in and asked me if my contractions changed much.  I told her I just got a painful one.  She said after a few more of those she'll check me again.




At 9:15, I have gotten 3 intense contractions.  I went to lay on the bed and the pain subsided.  The nurse checked me and I was near 7cm.  The nurse said just a bit more to go.  I noticed that when I lay on the bed, contractions was light and bareable.  It feels nice.  Then it dawned to me, if I want to get into active labor, I can't lay down.  What to do ?  face the pain or run away.  Either way I know it will come so may as well deal with this head on. I can do this !  I'm a warrior !!!

I asked the nurse to get the laughing gas ready, in case I need it.  I got on my knees and hung onto the end of the bed and rocked side the side, like I'm waddling.  Within mere minutes I can feel a strong tight painful contraction, as if the baby is ready to push his way out.  I grabbed the laughing gas from C's hand and inhale.  But I keep inhaling it and not breathing out so I felt light headed.  I almost pass out.  C was like "YOU have to breathe out, you need oxygen, breathe breathe".  I'm doing this all wrong already.  Damn it.  I decided to lay down and wait for the nurse to come in (she comes in every few min.).

I told the nurse what's happening and she called the doctor and another nurse to come in.  This is it, I knew it.  My baby is coming.  I pray and brace myself for the pain to come.  The doctor and nurses were all looking at me, waiting for a strong contraction to assess the situation.  Nothing was happening.  I just lay there without any contraction at all. Not wasting anytime, the doctor told me to lay on the side to encourage it.  I listened and surprisingly, within a few min. of me turning on my side, I feel tighten all over and I cry out in pain.  That ONE single contraction is mind numbing exploding gut wrenching painful.  I curled up like a ball, my fingers and toes are curled up too.  I want to cry but even tears elude me.  I looked at C and said "I can't do this, just cut me up".  "You can do it honey !  We're so close, you did it before" then put the laughing gas in my mouth.  I push it away, I can't inhale or exhale now.  I'm in too much pain to do anything. 

The pain subside, I quickly catch my breath because I know another is coming in less than a min.  I asked the doctor if I can have med. or can she cut me open because I can't do this.  She said "you're doing so well, you're so strong, you can do this"..."NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I can't...it's too late anyway...this baby is going to come if I like it or not right ?"  I cried at the truth of it all and let myself get swept away in agony pain.

This next part was a blur of events.  I remember some exchanges but mostly, I remember the pain of pushing.

"Suck in the air then breathe out!  put your mouth in it.  Inhale ! inhale !  Breathe breathe breathe !" C yelled.  I pushed his hand away.  "I'm going to pass out" I yelled.  The nurses said "No gas, no gas.  Push down on your tail bone.  Push only when you have a contraction".  I struggle for oxygen.  I can't pass out right now right here.  But the pain will end if I faint !  But what if something happen to baby ?  Screw it, I need to be awake.  Inhale, inhale, inhale I told myself.  "I can't push anymore.  Just cut the baby out" I told the doctor.

"Push push push, come on, you can do it !  TUCK your chin in !  you're doing so good" the nurse on the left told me.  It's not like I have a choice.  Even if I don't push my body automatically triggered my brain to.  The contraction at this point feels like it's out to kill me, the action of pushing, while it's pain X a trillion, feels better.  It overrides the internal pain.  I think it's because the pain is in one spot, it's contained, and a physical pain.  So I determined to put my focus on that.

There's really no down time between advanced contractions, maybe 10 to 5 seconds.  The doctor told me after my first push attempt is that I need to fit in at least 3 or 4 push with each contraction.  When the 2nd contraction start I pushed with all my might and his head crown.  At the 3rd one, C was smiling and happily announced  "He's OUT he's out, his head is our, just another push honey and his body is out".  I told C, "It's so painful, I don't think I can push him out"...then I push without contraction and the doctor noticed and said "DON'T push if you don't have a contraction.  If you must, try tiny push if you have to do it...small push push push".  I noticed without the contraction, the push is like driving without gas, it does nothing.  I need the pain to get the adrenalin going to push.  When the 4th contraction come, in my agony, I remember to push hard down towards my bum.  I push with all the air I got.  Chin tucked in and teeth were grinding until the last push.  He came out  and it was instant relief.

C was emotional, I was emotional, and the baby was warm and slimy.  The nurses and doctor congratulated us and went on being busy with all the other stuff that needs to be taken care of.  At that moment everything is secondary, there's a naked baby on top of me.  He's beautiful.  I'm so happy to meet him finally.  He's perfect, so precious, so worth all of this.  Thank you Lord !

Would I do this all over again !  Absolutely not !  3 is a perfect number for our family.