I remembered clearly how miserable I was in the morning of September the 6th, knowing that I had another weekly visit with my ObGyn that same afternoon. I was dreadfully complaining why Annakate was still in me after being over 40 weeks of pregnancy. After the ObGyn visit, I was rather anxious to find out that I had progressed to 3-4cm of cervix dilation and 75% effaced. She also estimated that baby to be over 8lbs. Holy crap! 8 lbs? How am I going to push out such a big baby?
To my surprise, the cervical check did stimulate some pink discharge and I googled all night on how fast labor can progress since I was already 3-4cm dilated. My hubby kept comforting me that labor would come any minute now even though it is not uncommon to experience the discharge after a cervical “digging”. So, I went to sleep like any other night, thinking about when labor will strike.
The very next morning at 655am, I woke up wondering if I would go into labor. 5 minutes upon deep-thinking, I felt water leaking in three small gushes in a row. I jumped out of bed with joyous anxiety knowing that the time has come. The pink discharge continued and I called my mom to tell her that ‘This Is It’. By 730am, my first diarrhea-like cramp struck me in a wave of 30 seconds long but 5 minutes apart. I jumped into the hot shower to relieve myself and reminded myself to stay relaxed as tensing up will only send my muscles to pain dungeon.
I called up my ObGyn and she told me to report to the clinic office soon. So, I rushed Mike to get his breakfast and ensure everything I needed to assist my labor was packed. My constipated-diarrhea-like cramps were getting more intense by 845am and I kept sitting on the birthing ball to rock those pressure away (while waiting for Mike to get dressed up). By 9am, I screamed at Mike “WE HAVE TO GO NOW!”
Mike raced us to St Mary’s Hospital which was 25 minutes away. Throughout the bumpy car ride, I breathed through those contractions and told myself I had to relax if I wanna achieve an all-natural delivery. I checked in at the Virginia Physicians For Women’s clinic at 940am and by that time, I could feel the rectal pressure banging real hard. Nurses told me that I cannot push now though I feel the urge badly. Dr Draper checked me immediately and I was already 6cm dilated. I was O_o! Didn’t know that dilation from 3-4cm to 6cm could go so fast on me! They put me on a wheelchair and pushed me to L&D ward which was 5 minute walk away.
That was when I updated my FB Status – “6cm and Nasty contractions. You can do it, Grace!” I know a lot of my family and friends in Malaysia were at shock that I could still update my FB status. But hey, I’ve got an iPhone in my hand and my parents and my brother needs to know how I am doing. What else can I do when I’m on a wheelchair? *winks*
Thank God for Birth Plans! I wrote a birth plan a few weeks ago and my ObGyn approved it. With that, I managed to grab a L&D room with a bath tub (which was the last one available on that day).
I got into L&D around 1010am and the nurses hooked me up to the fetal monitoring for about 6 contractions, just to ensure Annakate was not going through any distress in me. By then, I was already 7cm dilated. The rectal pressure was intensified and I told the nurse, I need to get off the bed ASAP. She helped me to get into the bath tub and I soaked in for a good 40 minutes. The warm bath seriously helped to take the pressure away by half. But it was getting worse at the same time, so Mike held onto my hand and reminded me to breath through the contractions to avoid pushing.
By 11am, I got out of the tub as the nurses needed to hook me up on fetal monitoring again. Oh, the rectal pressure was magnified and I remembered telling Mike “I felt like a big pooooop is coming!” Nurses guided me with Lamaze breathing like how to blow birthday cake candles in 5 seconds “Hee Hee Hee Hoooooo” to avoid pushing. At 1130am, I was already 8cm and this time, I got out of the bed and sat on the ball to rock away the ever magnified rectal pressure. Seriously, it felt like constipated-diarrhea cramps but magnified by a thousand times. Mike kept calming me down throughout the process and he counted with me and breathed the Hee Hee Hee Hoo with me. Oh I love my husband because of that.
At 1230pm, I was completely dilated and they rushed Dr Draper to my L&D room. I was telling the nurse repeatedly that I really have the urge to push. She told me to wait for the doctor. When Dr Draper arrived at 1245, she gave me the green light to push. Oh boy, you have no idea how I felt when she said that, and I pushed with all my might, and my bag of water broke like someone popped the balloon. Dr Draper’s scrub was all soaked. (Mike was laughing!)
To cut the story short, I had to push for 2.5 hours because my dear daughter was huge. Pushing for that amount of time felt like running a marathon endlessly. Praise God, I finally got her out at 3:28pm but with a third degree tear. Annakate was 8lbs 2 oz and she was super alert when I held onto her for the first time.
From the leaking of water at home to the time of birth, it was only 8 hours in total. God is really good to me! I cannot believe I have achieved an all-natural childbirth experience that I will never forget. Monthly prenatal massages by sister in law (Kristin), rocking on the birthing ball daily during the third trimester, walking a shopping mall at least 3 times a week, swimming every alternate day during summer, and any other preparation for labor works.
Today is a week after her birth, and I am trying to recuperate from all the pain I have gone through to shower my unconditional love for Annakate. Praise God for He is good. I am blessed. I know I am. Praise God for all the good things He has done for me.
Note: I am observing the 30-day Chinese confinement practices with Mike preparing all the herbal soup, red dates tea and food cooked with sesame oil or ginger. Thus, I won’t be able to update often. This entry took me 3 days to complete!