The nurses were asking me whether I'd done lotsa exercise during my pregnancy, especially, walking. I was like errr...yeah, I did do lotsa walking, but they were mainly from one shopping mall to another :P~ Guess I'm just lucky!!
The entire labour/birth process
Had to be admitted into hospital a day before the planned due date of 23rd December 02 since I'd opted to have the baby induced. The admission time was supposed to be 6pm but me n hubby decided to check-in later as we wanted to have a nice dinner before goin to the hospital. Called the hospital and told them that we will be there at 8:30pm. Ended up reaching Raffles Hospital at abt 9:30pm :P~
We were ushered into a room and was told by the nurse that the room was The Delivery Room and that I was to rest in this room for the night and the induction was to start tomorrow at abt 9am. The room looked really comfy - nothing like what I expected. Me n hubby then made ourselves comfortable and spent the time watching Singapore not making to the Tiger Cup finals by drawing with Thailand..At about 11pm, the nurse came into the room and told me that she needed to insert a Prostin pessary. This was to soften up my cervix so as to help expedite the labour process and help in the dilation of the cervix. She'd also fastened a belt around my tummy..the 'belt' was attached to a machine which apparently was able to monitor the fetus' heartbeat and also my contractions.
I felt several contractions in the night but they weren't as painful as those Braxton Hicks/tightening of ligaments I experienced during the past weeks. Managed to sleep just a little as I woke up each time the nurse came to check on me. My temperature and blood pressure were to be taken almost every 3 hours.
Nurse drew the curtains at about 8am and served me breakfast..after which, I was given an enema to help clear my bowels. At about 8:30am, the anesthesiologist came and before proceeding with administrating the epidural, he had to first warn me about the possible side effects of the drugs and I had to sign a form indicating I was aware of the 'dangers' and waived the hospital of any liability should I suffer from them. The side effects, the kind doctor pointed out, ranged from headache to paralysis. The injuries that could probably occur are prolonged neural blockade, backache, trauma to nerve roots, epidural abscess, adhesive arachnoiditis, postdural puncture headache etc etc..Upon hearing this, I was close to not having the epidural but decided otherwise since I was aware of how low my pain threshhold was. Afterall, the anesthesiologist had mentioned that such side effects are usually rare..Also, he'd mentioned that epidural would work on about 95% of patients..I was praying that I wasn't one of that 5%!
When I confirmed that I understood everything he had said, he proceeded with his duty.. First, I had to be put on the drip so the needle attached to the drip was inserted into the skin on my left hand [That..was the most painful part of my labour ..Really!]...He then proceeded to tell me how the epidural was to be administered. Well, it's really quite complicated but the gist of it was that a catheter was to be inserted into my back/spinal region where the anesthetic would be given when I needed it..[see a more thorough explanation here]. It took about just half an hour for the epidural to take effect and pretty soon, my whole lower half of my body [from hips down] became numb (yeah, I guess I was one of the 95% after all).
At about 9:30am, my gynae Dr Tan came into the room and checked my cervix. He said I was about 2 cm dilated which was pretty good as it meant that I reacted well to the pessary. He went on to burst my waterbag, and declared that the fluid was clear which was an indication that everything was okay. I didn't feel anything at all during this (friends had mentioned that the breaking of the waterbag was extremely painful w/out epidural). Dr Tan said that he expected the baby to arrive probably sometime in the afternoon, given that first time labour tend to take about 5-10 hrs of labour. He then left for his clinic. For the next 2 hours, I could feel the contractions but they felt like muscle movements. Didn't feel any pain at all. Nurse came and check my cervix about 10:30am - 5 cm dilated..she said. She declared that my cervix was dilating pretty quickly, which meant that the birth was gonna be soon. At 11:00am, my cervix was 8cm dilated so she quickly called Dr Tan to tell him to prepare for the birth. By 11:20am, I was about 10cm dilated already! Then it dawned upon me n hubby that I was gonna deliver the baby soon as the nurses went about preparing me for the 'expulsion', - putting my numb legs on the stirrups, getting the operation equipment ready etc etc. I was asked to 'push' at about 11:30am..Hubby held my hands tightly..and I attempted a 'push' though I wasn't sure whether I'd pushed hard enough since I couldn't feel a thing. Anyway, after 4 pushes and 9 minutes later, Baby Aidan arrived :)..Hubby was like "Err, that's it ah! So fast!" Heh..I felt the same way too..Had thought it would be longer and more traumatising. But hey..am glad it went so smoothly. Dr Tan asked hubby whether he wanted to cut Aidan's umblical cord which he did :).. The next thing was to 'expel' out the placenta which looked like this oversized liver! Dr Tan then spent the next 10 minutes or so stitching me up [he had apparently made an episotomy sometime during the delivery but I didn't feel it too].
They then brought baby Aidan to me for me to hold for a while before bringing him to the nursery. Was on a high still after that and me n hubby spent the next half hour or so calling up/smsing parents & friends informing them about Aidan's arrival. Hubby was wondering how I could be so hyper after that experience...But after a while, I pretty much zonked out, mainly due to the epidural. I had began to shiver slightly when the 'expulsion' was beginning and my shivers continued after the birth. The shivers were the result of the epidural apparently. I had to stay in the delivery room for about 2 hours to rest so I went to zz for a while and was transferred to the hospital ward after that.....
So..that was it..the entire birth process. Again, nothing beats the feeling of holding your baby for the first time. Simply magical!!