Our Birth story Part Deux

(This may take a few parts due to my ahem high need baby)

Warning VERY LONG post.

Where was I? Oh yeah, I thought my waters broke but I wanted to guzzle some grilled lamb chops first. Which I’m glad I did cos it was probably the last time I’m able to sit and enjoy my dinner without being in pain/worrying baby will wake up & cry.

May I say that when we went for dinner, I didnt feel any water coming out nor had any contractions. So I began to doubt that I was indeed going to labour or it was my waters breaking. But after dinner, we were chillin’ at home and there was more gush of fluid.

Feeling embarassed having to announce to M’s family that I needed to go to hosp then, but I did anyway. Oh all this while, M was at work btw. So my bro and I picked him up first before going to hospital.

We went to the hospital, still only having minor braxton hicks, the midwife confirmed my waters broken but as not in active labour yet, was sent home with the advice of coming back once contractions more regular and stronger.

The next day (sunday), my Braxton hicks were getting stronger and became more regular. Went to hosp again but was only 1 cm dilated, so got sent back home again. The plan then is to have me induced on the monday if I dont go to active labour myself.

I remember my family and M’s hanging out in the living room, playing board games that day. Me trying to concentrate on scrabble to distract me from the pain. I was like – I’m not going to hosp anymore until we’re sure this baby’s coming out imminently! (Hosp is only about 3-4 mins drive away)

That night, I couldnt sleep despite knowing I should have some kip before the real work begin. I couldnt sleep on my back obviously but my tummy was so big n heavy then that no position was comfortable. Plus the back pain was not.at.all.comfortable, ok? Googled this and learnt that you could have what is called ‘back labour’ where the contractions are worse at your back. I was using my hot duck (like hot water bottle but just need to microwave my fluffy soft duckie), got M to massage my back and in the end, at 4 in the morning, took a looonngggg warm bath — which did wonders to relieve the pain btw. Sampai pikir nyaman jua ah if I opted for water birth instead. (I did think what if teberanak tia dalam bath!)

At 7 am, the contractions were getting stronger and woke M up. (I let him have a few hrs sleep to gain energy before the going gets tough) I was due to go in anyway to be induced at 9 am so we got ready to go.

Now please note that I vomited just before going (not sure why. Cos of the pain?) and I was too uneasy and in pain to eat. BIG mistake. (will explain later)

Theeeeeeeen, started the long dragged out journey of my labour. Turned out I’m STILL 1 cm dilated at 9 am. And still 1 cm dilated at 5 pm. 3 cm dilated at 7 pm. Do you see where this is going? All this time, we were waiting for a proper labour room for me. First I was in the assessment room all morning and afternoon. Only seen by junior dr at 2 pm, who think I may or may not be induced but most likely will be and we’ll have to wait for the registrar to make the decision. Yes, I know that speech. The same speech I give where I say what the plan MAY be but REALLY we have to wait for the registrar to make the decision cos SHOs (ie jnr drs) cant make decisions anymore.

Transferred to a bay of 4 beds as still no room available. My contractions were getting stronger and stronger. I remember the woman next to me sounded like she was REALLY in pain. I felt for her. We were both doing that painful grunts when contractions come and ‘huuuuuuuf’-ing the entonox like our life depended on it. She was like my labour comrade (except in more pain and seems like in more active labour than me) Meanwhile, there’s these 2 women opposite us who in no way, shape or form is in labour. Well, I can’t see them cos my curtains were pulled back. But man oh man, can I hear them. They were laughing and talking and eating crisps – rather loudly. (I think they were waiting to have elective induction of labour…… for the next day)

My relationshp with the entonox started then too. First, we were keen to get to know each other. Then we felt we weren’t compatible with each other. “This is not working anymoooreeee!” whilst throwing it at M’s direction. Before being shoved back to me by M. “Take it!! Take iiiitttttt!!” And the result of this forced love? Flapping my hands around in the air. Yes, you heard me right. I began looking up like a zombie (M thinks) and flapping my hands in the air. M thought I was becoming psychotic. I was vaguely aware of what I was doing but I dont know…my hands were in their own element. Needless to say, M was thoroughly freaked out.

I couldn’t take the pain by 19 00 hours. And asked for epidural (wuss I know. I found out what my pain thereshold is then) despite me going ‘wellll, I dont want an epidural’ in the beginning to my midwife. But because I had 1. no room and 2. the anaesthetist wasnt available, I became good friends with the entonox. I was calmer and found it working by midnight.

Now medically this is what has happened by then:
1. My blood pressure has been on the high side, considering my BP has always been low. I was given high dose labetolol, an anti-hypertensive drug.

2. Whilst my hind membrane is broken, I haven’t fully broken my waters it turned out. So the registrar did it for me at 17 00 hours. The plan was to assess me in 2 hours time to see if I need to be induced. (Inda sudah2 decision to induce ani!)

3. Baby’s heart rate became low for 3 minutes. Which is a pretty long time. I was in ‘zombie focusing on contractions’ mode and was vaguely aware that the alarm was sent off and half a dozen people came to my bed. The registrar shouted out for emergency C section (ok maybe she didnt shout, but she said in an urgent tone) and people were getting ready for it. But baby’s heart rate went back up by itself and they decided to induce me instead. (Finally!)

But wait!! No rooms as yet. Until 23 00 hours. So to those who likes to complain about Brunei’s medical system, it’s the same here ok. You still have to wait.

I finally got into a room, a nice big room at that. By this time, I’ve had everything medical I can think of and to the point of ‘do whatever to me, my dignity has gone down along with my waters’. I remember this anaesthetist putting a cannula on me and then explaining I may need a spinal (kinda like an epidural) as I may have to go to theatre. I probably took in 5% of what he said – he went on about the risks and benefits and why we have to do it. All I was thinking – I know this dude!! M was out for a phone call and I was still being a zombie. Lesson for me: If I’m sent to talk to a women in labour, make it short. She’s not really listening anyway.

I had a nice midwife. You’re given 1 on 1, 1 midwife to 1 patient. And I’m glad for it. She was mostly there, making me comfortable and talking to me. I forgot her name but I wont forget her face. I’m actually quite thankful she was around. Perhaps why she’s constantly there is cos of my blood pressure and baby’s heart rate kept dipping down on a few occasions.

To cut the story short, all induced and epidural inserted (which is like heaven btw. I felt on top of the world after having the epidural), they assessed me that Tuesday 3 am and …. I was only 5 cm dilated. Oh man! By this time, I was calmer and felt better and comfortable. The contractions would hit really high (according to the CTG machine) and I couldn’t feel much of it. I couldn’t move my legs too, and my anaesthetist trainee friend said that I should be feeling it too and I was probably given a high dose of it. Not complaining Mr Anaesthetist, not complaining.

The Dr said that he doesn’t think I’ll progress much. My cervix was thinner the day before and now it’s thick – NOT a good sign. He reckons baby’s head is too big for my pelvis, classic reason for ‘prolonged second stage labour’. (Yes, my obstetric knowledge came back then) He discussed with another senior dr, who advised to wait another 2 hours. He kinda made it out like we’re given 2 options and I can choose. I wanted, so wanted a normal delivery but I could see baby’s heart rate dipping once or twice and that did not look good. I kept thinking of all the babies I’ve been to for ‘CTG: Fetal distress’ and didn’t want a paediatrician tending to him at the end of it if we waited any longer. In the end, I decided to wait but if baby’s heart rate falls again, we’re not waiting anymore. Which the obstetrician agreed to.

His heart rate did fall a few times but briefly. When my midwife went out to get something, my eyes were fixated to the CTG (actually it was turned slightly away from me but I pushed it towards me) and each time his heart rate went down, I felt scared. Perhaps ignorance is bliss at this point in time.

Now, recall back to my saying I didn’t eat breakfast the day before. I ate only a few spoons of yoghurt for lunch and had nothing else since. I was able to drink water but was forbidden to take anything else. LAPAR ok!!!! My energy was waning and I was internally kicking myself for not eating. M was also feeling the fatigue and hunger. We both were sleep deprived and tired by then. I felt sorry for M really. I was tugging his shirt now and then, going ‘ I can’t take thissss anymoreeee’. (This was before epidural) He went over to pray at this time and when he came back, I asked him to pick my parents up from home as I may be going to theatre.

I regularly called my mum as well to update her. She was in tears when she heard me in pain and about my blood pressure and baby’s heart rate. Bagi kan nangis jua listening to her.

Ok baby woke up. GTG.

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