I wrote this piece some time after the birth of Vera one eventful February day in 2009.
I realised that this blog wouldn’t be complete without my first-born’s birth story. (Especially since it’s her birthday this coming week.)
So here goes.
It was just before dawn. The anxious mum-to-be felt contractions coming on at a regular pace. I woke the sleeping husband. He stirred from his sleep with a ‘hmm’ and suddenly jolted awake and said ‘Baby’s coming?!’ ‘I don’t know’, I laughed and went to check if there was any blood or water. None. But the contractions kept coming. I wasn’t sure if it was early morning hunger pangs or real contractions. But my heart was wishing, let it be the real thing.
We decided to go to the hospital to get checked anyway…as it had been a week since I had a bloody show — one of the first signs of labour. We arrived at Mount Alvernia at 7-ish, where I was shuffled into a delivery suite while being told it was an auspicious day and lots of mums were getting induced to deliver that day. The gynae arrived shortly and checked – only 1cm dilated and contractions seem to be irregular and slowing. Options: go home and wait another few days OR be induced immediately. We chose the latter.
11am — Tablet was inserted. I was told to relax, walk around (if possible) and wait for it to do the job of softening and dilating the cervix.
1pm — Pains worsened. The midwife did an examination causing me excruciating pain in the process and said ‘I think 2-4cm dilated’. (I might have strangled her if not for the pain.) I was pushed back into the labour suite for monitoring. There, a more experienced midwife did an examination. She left silently. My gynae came and said ‘still 1cm dilated…I think you need another pill.’ Clinging onto the ‘happy gas’ mask which I have been breathing into for some pain relief, my heart hit the cold floor, together with my tears. Was something wrong? The doctor then administered the second pill and said if by night there’s still no progress, it might mean that my cervix was too stiff / something’s wrong somewhere. C-section may be our best (or only?) option.
11pm — Still no progress. Doc advised c-section but gave a few more hours grace.
2am — Nurse checked and it was still 1cm. My doctor called asking if we wanted to proceed with c-section. Her point was, if my cervix could dilate, it would have already. So the decision was made. Nurses came flowing in with various instruments. Suddenly there was pounding of heart and shivering fear. Within 40 minutes, I was ready for the knife. In another 40 minutes, the baby would arrive. And she did.
Through the procedure, the doctor found out that the umbilical cord (which was short to begin with) was entwined 3 times around baby’s neck. That was the reason why she couldn’t descend properly through the birth canal.
Thank God we went in that day. Thank God she arrived okay.
That had to be the longest day of my life.
Looking back, I wish that I had not been so impatient, and had listened to my body a bit more. But although I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to have a natural birth, I’m reminded that God is good and always in control.
I mean…look what came out of it! 🙂
And here’s that same pouty look 3 years down the road… 😉
Oh Vera Vera, you didn’t come easy at all…but the joy you’ve brought to our lives?
Makes whatever I had to go through pale in comparison.