Sunday, December 8, 2013

My Labor Story Part 2

hospital room

Disclaimer: Perhaps this is a super long, TMI sharing post intended mostly for those interested in birthing stories, so please beware.

If you missed part 1, click here.

So even though I requested for minimal CTG or you call it fetal monitoring, my doctor insisted on CTG for half an hour. After 30 minutes, they unstrapped me, and allowed me to walk around. I was also allowed to eat yaay and when I requested the bright lights to be dimmed, they did. Yaay. I didn’t get a drip so I could walk around the room, triple yaay. (The reason I insisted on walking is because gravity helps baby come down the birth canal okay ^_^)

I had my headphones on, listening to surah Maryam & surah Yaseen, and had a water bottle in my hands. I started pacing the labor room.  You could’ve sworn I looked like I was preparing for a race. The contractions by then came every 5 minutes, intense and long. This went on for an hour.

The head midwife came in to check on me, and I was 8 cm dilated. My mom was busy communicating with dad/ the in laws and I updated hubs every few minutes. The doctor came and asked to break my waters to make things go faster. I blankly said no. Well actually, at that point I was saying no to everything. Do you wanna eat? No! Do you wanna lie down? No!

I couldn’t stop walking! Doctor said, ‘let me know when your water breaks’. 5 minutes later my water broke. Doctor told me to lay on the bed starting then. The contractions got a lot stronger and I started to feel like pushing hard.

The midwife came to check on me and she told me I was fully dilated! She also told me to push whenever I felt like it. So I learnt about breathing down baby but it was impossible because the urge to push was so great. My contractions was still steady but after each peak, the contraction subsides. So up to now the birth was exactly the way I wanted it.

I felt in control before, but once the pushing sensation came, I kind of panicked. The midwife wanted me to push, and yes, I pushed. The doctor said baby was still up high so I need to push harder!! Starting then I completely trusted the midwife and my doctor. Doctor said something about my contractions are not strong enough to push baby out, so I had to work hard.

With each contraction, I pushed. And pushed. Mom was beside me reciting zikr. Then the midwife said baby was posterior! The ideal position for baby to come out is anterior, which is a position that makes labor shorter and mom progress faster. So I had a posterior baby and midwife was doing serious compresses on my stomach in an effort to turn baby around. In my head I was like, oh no poor baby must be so pissed to have someone twisting her from outside!

Ok ideally I would love to be standing when my water broke. So now I understand the feeling of wanting different positions to birth because lying down is just so messy! Something funny was also happening because once I was belly up, I couldn’t feel my contractions eventhough they were happening! Major disaster when you’re actually in the pushing phase. I’m shocked when my doctor told me that a contraction is coming, because they felt it on my stomach but I, on the other hand, didn’t! The doctor told me that because I opt for no episiotomy= no cuts down there, I had to push hard because she can’t help me!

I’ve been pushing for two hours by then. Two blood* hours. Ok literally. Then doctor dropped the bomb when she spoke to the midwife. “Her contractions aren’t strong enough yet.. She should be really ready when baby descends and her head showing.. She’s not ready yet actually.” What? what?? But but you told me to push!!! And I pushed for 2 hours!!!

Doctor then asked me if I wanted help or to let nature run its course? If you want all natural, then you have to bear with contractions and it’ll take a while. What? what? By then I’ve lost practically two buckets of sweat and blood, I don’t know.. Even then, I said I’ll wait. But here’s the thing. It’s like giving your all for a warm-up session, and naturally you’ve lost all energy for the real game.

That’s what I was at that moment. My mom basically has had enough of my stubbornness. She asked doctor about my options. Doctor told us that we could proceed with pitocin drip to strengthen my contraction and assured us that baby will be out in no time. Mom was soo sold. I was less happy. Midwife just couldn’t wait to go back home to sleep. Doctor remain impartial and waited for me to make my decision.

Mom looked at me with pleading eyes. Midwife was pushing me for the drip. I was sweating and my hands were cramping from pulling that lever, on top of the painful contractions. I felt soo cornered and desperate. So in the last minute I said, oklah let’s do it! I just want it to be over. At the time I was sure baby is never coming out and I’ll be pregnant forever. As if.

Midwife inserted drip needle (I envisioned leaving the hospital needle-free), administered pitocin in increasing amounts (I envisioned drug-free). I felt my uterus started contracting like malibu waves. I pushed with the waves and baby was out on the third push.

I heard a strangled cry, some suction and came face to face with baby, all covered in sticky vernix. I can’t help thinking, ‘how weird, she’s so tiny and so angry… must be all the pitocin and massaging pissing her off.. did she really came out of me?’ I held her to my chest feeling relieved and utter disbelief. I had a slight tear down below because I rejected episiotomy but doctor said it wasn’t much. I wouldn’t bluff, I’m so happy about that part.

However, I envisioned baby to come out calm and alert, a tell tale of no-drugs baby in theory.. but she was inconsolable. So they let me have some skin-to-skin, then they whisked baby off for normal medical procedures. After an hour I get to hold her again <3

Salam baby Naila Zahra, the labor was 15 hours long but you held your ground. I felt your strong kicks from the very beginning till your birth. If I had any doubt that you’re okay in there, I would be the one to rush the doctor for emergency c-section. However I didn’t have to worry because your heartbeat was strong throughout the whole labor.

I wanted to give you time, I didn’t want to force you out. I didn’t want to drug you. I know that any drugs entering my bloodstream will enter yours. Having pitocin causes constricted blood flow to you and would’ve caused you distress. I wanted to give you a gentle beginning. I hope the pitocin in the final minute didn’t touch you. We just needed time.

You were pissed when you came out, must be the pitocin and the midwife pressing aggressively on your body (!) Yes it made me pissed off too.

Looking at your past month, I’m glad I made all the decisions that I made because people keep saying you’re a happy baby.. seldom cry and progress well. You latched on for nursing in the first hour, you didn’t have any jaundice and you steadily gained weight. I made all the decisions during my pregnancy and labor hoping for a good outcome. I read up so much about the natural birth process before giving birth to you. Thank you to daddy also for making me see the light. He made me realize that I’m capable of giving birth naturally and that I should just trust nature. After all, if my body could support your growth until full term, then my body can support the labor too. Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah Smile

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