Tuesday, January 19, 2016

When it all began . . . (Part 1)

Here goes my labour story . . . .

Part 1

I remember experiencing a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions the day before my EDD. 

On 12 Jan 2016 (on the expected due date), I was experiencing a lot of cramping and more and more discharge was coming out.

In the morning :

It was around 9 a.m. when the cramps started and would come around on an hourly basis.  Many people would tell me that you'd KNOW the difference between Braxton Hicks and real contractions but I was still confused as to what was I feeling that morning itself.

I consulted PS about what I was experiencing and she told me that these are all pre labour signs, which is a good sign.

I started getting excited because I was so thankful that I may not have to be induced on 12 Jan itself, which was the original plan if my labour didn't kickstart. The reason why I fear being induced, apart from the pain is because there would be a higher risk of undergoing a c-section whilst what I wanted was to experience the process of a natural labour. 

Anyhow, the cramps that I felt, felt exactly like period pains but more severe. And every time the cramps began, I felt like shitting. 

It also started getting painful to walk around so I lay in bed that morning until it was time for my gynae appointment.

In the afternoon  :

Initially, I planned on driving to my gynae appointment but when my mum found out about it, she insisted on driving just in case I experienced contractions.

Just so thankful that I didn't end up driving because I didn't know that I would get contractions that morning itself. Mike came from work during his lunch break to pick me up to head to the gynae. 

Initially, the plan was to meet him there and I was supposed to drop him back to the office -_-"


Lesson to be learned : Don't act like a hero near your EDD because you really don't know WHEN your contractions will strike or when labour will begin. 

Went to the gynae and the doctor asked me to see her immediately. Told her that I've been experiencing cramping, more discharge and had a slight pink stain a few days before. 

She checked my dilation and told me that I was already 3 cm dilated and that I already had "my show". I am guessing that "my show" was really that light pink discharge. Had I not worn a panty liner, I don't think I would have even noticed it.

She told me that I was already in early labour and I could check into the hospital that night itself or I could go in the next morning, before 9 a.m. if I could bear with the pain throughout the night. Basically, her advice was to just go to the hospital whenever I am unable take the pain any longer. 

I was then put on an ECG machine at the clinic to check on the baby's heart rate and contractions and apparently, my contractions were already going on for every 15 minutes.

After the check up, I started bleeding. Thought to myself that maybe this is the "real bloody show".

Went home after lunch to rest and I downloaded an app to time contractions whilst I just sat on the couch to "sit and wait" whilst watching an episode of "Cheese in the Trap", some new Korean drama.

In between, I could not stop reading about contractions and dilation. The more I read, the more anxious I became.

Told Mike to take half day leave. Could see that he was getting anxious and I was GLAD. Told him that I felt happy to see him anxious because he has been too calm all this while. Hahaha.

In the evening :

The contractions started to get shorter and shorter throughout the day with each contraction being 5 minutes apart. Pain was still bearable but it was no doubt getting more and more uncomfortable.

It was like a bad stomachache that won't go away.

At around 7 p.m., we had fish head noodles for dinner and headed straight to the hospital.

That night itself :

At the hospital, the first thing they did was to put me on the ECG machine again to monitor the baby's heartbeat and level of contractions.

The contraction pain was getting more and more severe. At 8.30 p.m. (about 8 hours from being 3 cm dilated), I found out that I was only 4 cm dilated. 1 cm over 8 hours! 

I started becoming afraid because it was just was TOO long!!!! Perhaps, I was being optimistic that I was 3 cm dilated this afternoon when the contractions just started in the morning itself so I was expecting to be twice as dilated since the last check up.

Looks like I won't be delivering on the 12th itself given how slow my dilation is.

Was given an enema but I knew that nothing much would come out since I went to the toilet that morning itself.

Asked the midwife when will it be too late to get an epidural and she didn't really answer my question. 

Instead she told me, "If you want it, now would be the time because it will also take time for the anaesthesiologist to come over to your ward."

At 9.40 p.m.,  the epidural was administered. The anaesthesiologist was really good. In fact, the pain that I was anticipating really was not as bad as I thought it would be. The pain of the IV line attached to my left hand was more severe than the epidural (based on my experience).

I think that my pain threshold reduces the moment I see needles being stuck in me whilst the epidural is administered at my back, where I didn't get to see what went on.

The pain only lasted for a few seconds when the needle was inserted in my back and before I know it, my back was already being taped up with the whole process being over.

Another dilation check at 11 p.m. was done and I was STILL 4 cm dilated. ARGH.

I knew that it was going to be a LONG, long night, but I really didn't know how long.

Was warned of the side effects of the epidural and although I am thankful that I did not experience nausea, I started itching ! My back was itching, my front was itching, my armpits were itching. ARGHHH. 

I was warned not to scratch myself because I would not be able to feel much and might lacerate my skin if I scratched. I was told to "massage" the itch (which really didn't help much at all).

Needless to say, I really couldn't sleep well the entire night and thought to myself, which is worse?

Having an itch that you cannot really scratch or a perpetual pain that goes on and off every 3 minutes?

[to be continued]

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