At 3am in the morning, I was strangely woken up a second before my water broke. I felt a tiny leak and quickly got out of the bed. The moment I reached the toilet, a big gush of water came out. I washed up, wore a thick pad and woke Ab up. I was so so excited! It had already been 39 weeks and 6 days by then and baby J was putting on weight quite well. But my body was hurting and I just wanted to get him out.
We got changed, checked our hospital bag to ensure all was in, and called a cab to get to the hospital.
The reason why we didn’t choose to labour at home first was because of my GBS. I had to be put on antibiotics atleast 4 hours before delivery. And since I didn’t know how fast or slow my labour was going to be, we chose to go to the hospital as soon as possible.
Once we registered ourselves, I got warded first while Ab settled some administrative matters.
A PCR and ART test was done on me. After which a swab test at my vagina was done to confirm the leakage was amniotic fluid. The swab stick turned a dark blue once it touched the fluid. Then, an edema was done. A bottle with some liquid inside was squirted into my butthole. In a few minutes I rushed to the toilet to poop out everything. This is to reduce the amount of poop excreted while pushing baby.
Finally, I was given GBS antibiotics via IV. Now this was weird. Because the moment the nurse injected the fluid into my vein, I could smell the antibiotics. It got to my head so fast that I immediately started gagging! After a few minutes I felt fine.
A nurse then checked my cervix, noting that it was only 1cm. So we kinda took the early morning slow. Ab and I rested. We had breakfast. Napped a little more..
My gynae, Dr Pam, came in at about 9am. She checked my cervix once more and said I haven’t progressed much. She asked if we would like to be induced or wait a while more. I requested to wait another 3 hours.
At noon, I still did not dilate. So Ab and I agreed to the induction. The method used Cervidil. I did not use this for the first pregnancy. It kinda looked like a shoe lace and is inserted at the cervix to ripen it. As soon as the Cervidil was inserted, I began feeling the contractions pick up. And I was excited! This was by far the most effective induction method I’ve tried! I was looking forward to it getting more intense because I knew that meant we were getting closer to meeting our baby.
Now, the next 6 hours were quite a blur to me. I remember continuously leaking amniotic fluid, baby’s meconium (he pooped inside me!), Discharge and blood. It was a very sticky affair. The Cervidil was also falling out of my vagina once in awhile and the nurse had to put it back in.
By about 6pm my contractions were so strong I couldn’t sit still. The labour ward bed was also VERY uncomfortable. My lower back was hurting just lying on it. I got up and tried to move. Ab practiced counter pressure methods of pain relief by squeezing my hips each time I got a contraction. Other than that, he recited phrases of affirmations and prayers during each surge. Something like “You are strong. You are a good mother. Nobody else can do this right now except you”. I found this very helpful. I focused on his face instead of the pain.
I also used Entonox (laughing gas) to provide some relief but that didn’t work much for pain. It just made me high enough to groan and moan without inhibitions. So groan and moan I did! And let me tell you, it was absolutely liberating. I grunted as deeply and as loudly as I could with each surge.
Then I felt it. The urge to push. I felt it starting. The midwife came in to check me once again and said I was only 5cm dilated. 5cm?? There was no way I was only 5cm with that intensity of pain along with the urge to push! So I just let my body do its thing. I felt baby steadily descending. By this point, chunks of blood and poop were coming out of me. More fluids, pee or amniotic I have no idea, was gushing down. And I kept telling the nurse I felt like pushing. She eventually called Dr Pam to come in.
While waiting for her, Ab kept the gas mask firmly on my face. The nurses kept telling me to breathe in the gas and they held my legs down (I really don’t know if this was necessary but I guess they really wanted me to hold it in until the gynae arrived). I kept trying to open my legs while my body just kept pushing the baby. I honestly had zero control over this. I read that this was something called the Ferguson Reflex.
The moment Dr Pam came in, gowned up and sat infront of me, I heard Ab say “I can see his head babe!”
And with the next involuntary push, I felt baby J ejecting out of my vagina! With that came the biggest relief my body has felt in 10 months! I breathed the biggest sigh of relief and cried. I saw Ab crying too. He was beside me, holding me the whole time.
Hope you enjoyed reading this far! I love sharing and reading about birth stories. It still remains a mystery how something this common is also not talked about much. One thing that got me through the first birth trauma was to talk about it. Over and over. And then I read up about labour and delivery procedures including C-section. Just being in the know took a lot of anxiety off my shoulders.
In time I will share my birth plan and other preparations I did for this birth!