February 26, 2012

giving birth to my baby girl

I currently hold the title of fastest labor and birth in my entire family; 4 hours and 45 minutes from the moment I woke up and realized I was having contractions until I held Adrianna in my arms for the first time without no pain medication. I know, I know, I am a freak of sorts especially since this was my first baby.

With that said, my family thinks my second labor will be half the time so plans have been made from the moment everyone found out I was pregnant on how to best rush me to the hospital when my contractions began. I know, I know ... paranoid.

But let’s rewind back to the early morning of Monday, 13 July 2009. It was exactly 2.30am when I woke up and decided to waddle to the bathroom because I thought nature was calling with a ferocious "tummy ache" (it really did feel like that and I thought eating a tad too much durian earlier in the day caused it) but it was nothing more than a wee trickle each time for about three to four times, each "tummy ache" lasting about 60 seconds, 10 to 14 minutes apart. I didn’t realize they were labor contractions, I really did think they were just an upset tummy but I decided to time them, just in case. Until this day I didn’t quite know why I did. Maybe I was just tired from waiting and just decided to, kind of like giving myself a sense of hope that there's light at the end of this bloated tunnel. I know, I know ... weird.

I suppose I would have continued waddling to and fro from the bed to the bathroom if I hadn’t accidentally kicked my sleeping hubby around the fifth time I tried to scoot off the bed. It was almost 3.30am by then and although the contractions were still bearable, they were 8 to 10 minutes apart from each other.  I’d say it was a “3” on a pain scale of “10”.

I guess I was in denial that I was in labor. I know, I know, smack your palms on your forehead and say “duh!”. I had good reason, you know. After 8 months of stalking all things birthing day and night, I thought either my mucus plug would dislodge first, or have a bloody show or the mother of all first signs of labor; the water bag breaking but none of these happened! So naturally, I figured it must be something I ate earlier because I did have quite a bit of durians washed down with a few cups of milk. I know, I know, not the best of combinations but it was really nice durian season that year. Besides, the contractions did feel like nature calling.

Fast forward 5.30am, my contractions were still 8 to 10 minutes apart but have gone up a few notches on my pain scale from a “3” a couple of hours earlier to a “6”. So, hubby woke the in-laws up and told them it was time and drove me to the hospital where he managed to drive over every single bump and pothole on the road.

I got to hospital at about 6.00am and by then, I could hardly stand  when the contractions hit and had to be wheel-chaired in. I felt like royalty, a huge beached-whale look-a-like royalty in pain. My contractions were still 8 to 10 minutes apart but by then I had the strongest urge to push. The nurses got me changed, prepped and ready for delivery but since I wasn’t quite fully dilated yet they gave me an injection to help speed things along and it really did because the contractions were about a solid “8” on my pain scale then. I was told to lie on my side, close my legs and be calm until the doctor got in, in about 10 to 15 minutes.

I remember the nurses asking if I wanted anything for the pain and I remember saying no. I wasn’t being brave. Trust me, I was so out of it that I didn’t know what I wanted except to get the baby out. Luckily, I did discuss the option of pain relieve with hubby and I told him that I didn’t want epidural or anything of the sort because I didn’t want to harm baby unless the doctor said otherwise. As much as it pained him to see me in so much pain, he confirmed with the nurse again that I didn’t want any pain relieve.

So there I was, lying on my side, legs closed with painful contractions (about an “9” on my pain scale now) every 5 minutes or so with hubby sitting next to me rubbing my back. It felt like forever but it was only 10 minutes before I was wheeled into the delivery room at 7.00am and after 3 pushes, I was holding Adrianna in my arms at 7.15am. I delivered the placenta, stitched up for a 1cm episiotomy, cleaned up and got changed into clean clothes by 7.30am and snoring in my own private room by 7.45am. Got to love my gynecologist and his team of super-efficient nurses.

4 hours and 45 minutes. I know, I know ... freaky. Seriously, the super short labor time didn’t even hit me until a few months later. I suppose it was my body’s way of handling pain by blocking out time so I wouldn’t stress out. The in-laws were still asleep when I delivered because no one expected me to pop so quickly. My MIL still thinks I’m super freaky for delivering so quickly since everyone in my family and hubby’s had s history of super long labor times.

I like to think I was just blessed.