Pregnancy – At the Delivery Bed
Every delivery is different. Each experiences a unique story to tell.
First Time Mother
For all new mothers, no amount of preparation can prepare you for your first experience. Everything is new. My firstborn was almost 2 weeks late. I admitted myself to the hospital to get an induction. 12 hours later, I was still only 2cm dilated even with all the walking.
Then, the contractions increased in frequency and intensity. My main concern was the pain (that’s what most mothers describe).
I got an injection because I wasn’t sure of my threshold for pain. Then, I decided to get the epidural (because ‘it would take some time’). Threw in the ’ laughing gas’ too, because ‘its always better to be more prepared than less’.
As the numbness set in, I pushed when the mid-wife said to. Wondering when it would all be over.
We had decided to film the whole process, so my partner was busy getting modest angles while dispensing words of encouragements. “You’re doing great.”
“I can see the head” “PUSH” “Just a little more”
His updates were great cos it gave me a sense of what was going on ‘down there’.
Tell your partners to give positive encouragements. Besides making a significant difference, it makes the entire delivery experience some-what shared.
My second delivery was completely different in that I had NO pain-killers and did NOT tear. A magical experience as I partnered with nature in delivering.
I went to the toilet one night and saw blood in the toilet bowl. Baby had stiffened to a hard ball and felt like she wasn’t moving. I woke my partner and we raced all the way to the hospital as I tried calmed myself down with positive words.
My tension increased when the nurse invited me to sit at the emergency admission.
“My baby’s NOT moving and you’re asking me to sit?”
“Why am I bleeding?”
“Is my baby all right?”
Fearful thoughts raced through my mind..
At 3am, there wasn’t any patient. She quickly hooked me to a machine, and I heard the all familiar heartbeat from previous scans. Immediately, I calmed down and realised that while the nurses may not know why I’m bleeding, baby was all right.
They wheeled me into the delivery ward and one conversation was all it took for me to decide NOT to have epidural.
I chose to chat with the nurse (a great distraction from the increasing contractions).
Conversations included ‘poo-ing.’
Part of the contractions meant an urge to do a dump but I was advised against. I was given a bed-pan to pee. The nurse said I was too dilated to take chances of having the baby come out into the toilet bowl and we both laugh.
Then, she nonchalantly asked if I wanted painkillers. I asked her how much ‘more painful’ and ‘how much longer’ the labour would last.
That was when she showed me a printed graph of peaks and valleys. She explained that the tops were greatest contractions while the ebbs were ‘restful periods’. She also noted that if I could still smile at the peak(most painful) and maintain a conversation, maybe I did not need any epidural?
Truth is, the pain was bearable(when it came), and if that was the most painful it would get, the thought of saving money made me decide to go ahead with no epidural.
She affirmed my decision and added that I could always opt for it later.
She left and I distracted myself by settling emails & calling my husband who had rushed home to gather an overnight bag (that was not packed) and the video-camcorder.
2 hours quickly passed, with me breathing during the peaks and distracting myself doing the valleys.
Suddenly, I felt and downward movement following a contraction. I intuitively knew it was the foetus moving down. I panicked because I was all alone and the gynea had estimated that it would take 6-8hours for me to be fully dilated. I immediately called for the nurse. She came in and measured my dilation. While she maintain her composure, her effective actions was confirmation that baby was coming out way sooner than expected.
The pain increased. The nurse had lied. This peak was higher!
“Too late for an epidural.”
I felt another downward movement and called my husband because I knew that baby was coming out and he was still NOT yet back in the ward!
This is when I experienced my first miracle.
I quietly asked baby, “not to come out because daddy was still not in”.
She actually cooperated.
I felt another contraction but NO downward movement.
The room door flung open and my partner rushed in, cam-coder in hand. “Am I in time?”
I scrolled at him, relaxed and quietly told baby she could come out now.
At the next contraction, I felt her significant downward movement.
“Oh my God, I can see her head!” “Push!” My partner enthusiastically chirped.
I pushed with all my might. Baby didn’t come out.
I was tired (from no sleep the whole night), in pain and I think the hardest part of delivery is not knowing when the process will be over. Its like running without knowing where the finish line is.
“How much more do I push? How much harder? That’s my hardest!”
Amidst the pain, I relished this delivery because no painkillers meant I could FEEL what was going on. I was actually actively involved in this delivery. While I was an obedient patient who pushed when told (1st delivery), this time, I was in control. When the nurse asked me to push (looking at the graph), I knew better. I matched my efforts alongside the inner contractions and that intuitive experience with nature was just magical.
Finally, after the umpteenth push, baby’s head came out and the rest of the body followed through effortlessly.
I did not tear. I’d read in a book that we can tell our vagina to stretch and that’s what I did. Crazy as it sounded, I was amazed that I needed no cuts! That meant faster healing, which was completely different from my first experience.
So ladies, we are designed to give birth and I realise that we are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. Read scary stories and that becomes your reality. Choose to flood your minds with positive beliefs and that becomes your story t tell.
I’ve given birth to another 2 naturally and easily, with no pain-killers since.
All it took was a nonchalant nurse whose belief system was “No need pain-killers” for me to actually ‘catch’ that belief.
After experiencing that reality, my belief is : “Natural child-birthing is a magical experience of oneness with Nature.”
It is a powerful, humbling and awesome experience reserved for women. And will always be one of my most treasured memories in life.
General Manager of SG Baby Club
Mother of 5 amazing kids (14yrs, 10yrs, 8yrs, 6yrs & 3yrs)
Subscribe to youtube “Modern Asian Mother” for parenting tips.