So here’s my birth story from the point I found out that I was “getting into labour” all the way until baby Noah was born into this world.
I visited my gynae in the morning for my 38th week check up. She strapped me to a CTG machine to study my contractions and baby’s heartbeat. She told us that I was already getting contractions at a 15-minute interval and I was 2 cm dilated that meant that the labour would happen anytime within the next week. James and I were quite taken aback because we were positive that baby Noah would only make his entrance in June and I had work appointments and engagements arranged all the way until the 1st of June.
I actually did not feel a thing. I did not have a difficult or uncomfortable pregnancy (apart from increasingly painful backaches towards the end) but the 24th felt like any other day normal day and I thought I was not showing any signs of labour yet. I couldn’t even identify what Braxton Hicks contractions felt like. Once in a while, I felt my uterus tightening. It felt a little like slight cramps but it was easily brushed off and I could still go about my day, as per usual.
That very night, however, I had that “bloody show” that everyone was telling me about. It is a bloody discharge which signals that labour is near. I guess it affirmed what my doctor had told us earlier in the morning.
During this period of time was when it dawned on us that “shit was hitting the fan” and it could be any moment that my water bag could burst or I could dilate further and start feeling much more regular contractions. Yet, I was extremely determined to get as much done in the little time that we had as possible.
These were the things we accomplished in the span of 3 days (while I was technically still 2cm dilated)..
-We packed our hospital bag
-Made a hospital bag check list and blog article for you guys (click here)
-Completed our baby laundry
-Got Steigen to install their Ultra in my laundry room
– Called a cleaning company to help steam clean our carpets and mattresses
– Visited Ikea to get racks for our baby nursery
– Organised all the drawers in our nursery changing unit
– Videoed some scenes of our nursery reveal room tour
23:00: “Let’s go for supper!”
Something in my mind just told me that “it could be any moment now”. I brushed it off once again and thought I was just overthinking it— “maybe I was just slightly anxious and also very excited”, I told myself. Nonetheless, I told James to finish up packing his stuff (camera equipment and laptop fully charged) and get them ready as if we were going to leave for the hospital.
Obviously, while getting this done, it took us a good one hour to dilly dally around the house, work a little on our laptops, before deciding to go for supper, as I was feeling quite hungry.
00:50: Waterbag Broke
I was getting ready to leave the house. James had our front door open and had the car keys in his hand when I said I had to use the bathroom to pee before heading out. Not an unusual situation as I felt like I needed to pee around the clock, given the baby was sitting right on my bladder.
While peeing, I felt a gush of water coming down and it occurred to me that “my water bag might have broken”. But I still wasn’t too sure. I’m a first-time mom and I had absolutely no clue what a bursting water bag felt like. I shouted to James from inside the toilet and said, “OMG MY WATER BAG MIGHT HAVE BROKEN!” and he started to panic! I very calmly got out and told him “let’s wait and see if it’s really my water bag!”, and within seconds more water flowed down through my legs and onto the floor.
I decided to take a quick shower, put on my skincare, dry my hair and get ready to leave for Mt. Alvernia Hospital.
James was baffled at how calm I was because during the ParentCraft workshop, we learnt that we had to head to the hospital “IMMEDIATELY” if and should my water bag burst.
01:30: Checked Into Mt. Alvernia Hospital
We left the house at around 1.30AM and aside from the uncomfortable feeling of wetting my pants and slight contractions, I was still feeling fine.
P.S. I even offered to take the wheel as James looked pale and drenched in cold sweat. My poor husband.
We arrived to the hospital and got settled in. I was a little bummed that I had missed supper and I would be famished by the end of my labour so I requested for some food before it was too late. (Usually we’re not advised/ allowed to have a heavy meal too close to delivery)
By then, I was still 2-3cm dilated and my contractions were around 10 minutes apart, but I was progressing fast.
After eating a little, we decided to get some shut eye. Obviously, we hardly managed to get restful sleep (or any sleep at all)— James was feeling way too anxious and I would be awoken by my contractions every single time I dozed off.
7:00: 5CM Dilated
By 7AM, I was feeling so tired. I was not in intolerable pain but I could definitely feel that my contraction were increasing in intensity. My gynaecologist came in to check on my dilation and I was 5CM dilated. She said that I would have about 5 hours to go and she would expect baby Noah to arrive around early to mid afternoon. I then made the decision to order for epidural. I wanted to take a nap and have a good breakfast so that I would have the energy to push.
8:00: Got The Epidural
At 8AM, I should have been about 6CM dilated and the anesthetist came to administer epidural on me. James left the room as he was feeling faint from all that was going on. It was hilarious.
I had my breakfast after getting the epidural.
We started on a really low dose, so I could still feel the contractions and sensation in my feet. The nurses said that if I could still lift my legs, I could still feel a good percentage of what’s going on down there.
True enough, I could wriggle my toes and lift my legs although they felt heavier than usual.
10:00: 8-9CM Dilated
10AM: the nurses came in to do another check on my dilation and said that I was 8-9 CM dilated already and my contractions were at very regular intervals.
Sister Kang and Sister Angela came to visit me in the delivery suite. We took a few pictures and they gave me some words of encouragement.
Soon after, another sister who was doing her rounds came in to pray with James and gave us Holy Communion.
The midwife came in to check on me again and no surprises but I got to the magic number— 10 CM! I was quite relieved that everything seem to have expedited. I was extremely calm and collected, perhaps due to my decision to take epidural? I was actually still replying my emails and dm’s to take my mind off the contraction pains. She said she was going to call for the doctor as I would be ready to push soon.
As I could still feel the intervals of my contractions, I knew exactly when I had to push. James counted down from 10 to zero during which I would be pushing for as hard as I could.
I guess I did pretty well as we saw the baby’s head after 2 to 3 pushes. Shortly apart, the gynae came in to guide me through the final moments of labour.
Everything happened so quickly, it really happened like a blink of an eye.
11:20: Baby Is Here!
I heard his first cry and Baby Noah was born. It felt like the most surreal feeling in the whole world, when they handed him over to me, my heart was bursting with so much relief and joy, I can’t even put to words. 9.5 months of prayers, waiting and baking and here I am, finally able to hold him in my arms.
I somehow felt a great sense of comfort and assurance that everything would go well and smoothly during my entire labour journey and I am so blessed that this sensing materialised. I was confident and had faith that I was in good hands and under good care.
I am ever so thankful for everyone that has played a part in bringing my precious little son into this world, and I am loving every minute of being his mom.