My son is sleeping, H has started working after 3 weeks of paternity leave and I finally have some time to write about the birth story of my son. On 29th September, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 35 weeks and 3 days of his gestational age and due to that, he's considered as a late term preemie.
(This might be the beginning of a super long entry)
I went out to meet my husband for some grocery shopping after Friday prayer. We had late lunch at a Pakistani restaurant and when I went to the loo, I noticed some brown tinged stain and instantly knew that I just had a bloody show. Called two friends to ask about their opinions, one told me that she never had any bloody show for her two daughters so she couldn't advice more. Another friend told me that a bloody show could indicate that the labor is nearer but couldn't say more as it differs from a person to another.
Decided to take things lightly, we went grocery shopping as usual. At 7-ish pm, I decided to call the hospital for advice. Hospital said that I need not to worry but asked me to call them again if "fresh blood" came out instead of brown tinged stain or if I felt any contraction.
Nothing unusual happened that night.
Woke up for Subuh prayer and saw that menstruation-like blood stained my underwear. During this time, I felt no contraction at all. Around 6.45am, I couldn't sleep and felt very mild period pain. I hadn't had any period pain for the longest time so it was difficult to tell at first. I got up and hand-washed all the baby wool clothes that I'm saving till the end, hehe, and later set aside clothes for the hospital bag.
Around 8.15am, I tried to catch up reading the book - HypnoBirthing, The Mongan Method that I just received FOC on Wednesday from a lady I contacted via FB, while listening to the rainbow relaxation music. I practiced the relaxation breathing technique and read a bit on the J-breathing, all of these while my husband was sleeping. After some time, I decided to time the contraction for an hour and was positively sure it was an 5-1-1. I woke H up and told him that we might have to go to the hospital soon.
H was panicking but I was taking my own sweet time to pack the hospital bag. Haha. The hospital is only 5 minutes away, so what's the rush?
Before leaving the house, I had breakfast (more likely brunch, it was 12+ pm!), called my mom and H was Whatsapp-ing his parents.
Checked in at the hospital and the midwife performed CTG and vaginal examination (VE). Contrary to popular beliefs, VE IS NOT PAINFUL. I was about 1 cm dilated and baby was still high. I was on CTG for a while before the midwife came back and said that I might be warded for monitoring since I was still only 35 weeks pregnant.
|CTG monitoring at the maternity ward|
Was ushered to the labor room and the labor room midwife, Jutta greeted me. I wanted to eat first since I haven't eaten anything for lunch. Had few slices of bread, jam and cheese at the ward pantry. Contractions came and go at this stage. After lunch at around 4pm, I was put on constant electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) despite my refusal. I had no choice but to obey since it was a premature labor.
At this stage, contractions were at 5 minutes interval but getting intense and opening was at 2-3cm. While waiting, I managed to read the hypnobirth book especially on the birthing breathing. During the early hours, I also managed to recite surah Maryam, Yasin and listening to rainbow relaxation. H was reciting Quranic verses for air selusuh and hearing him reciting it, it helped me to doze off before intense surges came.
Around 7-7.30pm, the contractions were getting more and more intense. Had 3 of those while I was in the toilet up to the point, I said - screw hypnobirth, give me epidural. Unfortunately, there were 2 ladies queuing for epidural as well so I didn't get the epidural immediately. 20 minutes later, the midwife came to check on me and I asked for it persistently. She told me that the anesthetist was in operating theater for an emergency c-sect and there was still a lady queuing. She performed another VE and was surprised that I was already 8cm dilated and told me - your epidural ship has sailed. Cheh.
H rubbed my back with love shape massage (or so it called, can't remember exactly) and recited selawat to my ears. It helped to calm me, in a way. Then the midwife inserted some sort of electrode and immediately after, I felt water gushing out. By then I know that my water bag has broken. Heard the midwife said the water was greenish in colour and the baby might have pooped inside. By this time I felt massive pressure to do #2 a.k.a the baby was ready to be pushed and on midwife's cue, I was asked to push when the contraction came. I tried my best to do the birthing breathing or J-breathing but couldn't remember any. At that point I was doing what the midwife told me to do so bye-bye hypnobirthing. Sobs. She helped to put some pressure on the perineum area so that I won't tear much. I think after 3-4 rounds of contractions, my baby was out.
I requested for immediate skin-to-skin contact with my baby and the umbilical cord to be cut only after it has stopped pulsating. H did the honor of cutting the cord. My son however has difficulty in breathing and he was whisked to NICU after I delivered the placenta. Later we were told that he had a "wet" lung and had to be in NICU for constant monitoring as he was also late term preemie. And then the nightmare of 15 days stay at the hospital began, but that was a different story.
Fresh from the oven
In a way I think, hypnobirth partly help me to stay calm and gain composure during the first few hours but somehow I felt guilty for panicking when the intense surges came and lose focus on the breathing towards the end. I wish that I had more time to read and practice but what's done is done as I still had my initial wish, to have a drug-free and natural delivery. I had no episiotomy and had a 2nd degree tear and alhamdulillah, the stitches healed in a week.
So that's the birth story of my son, Aqil Qays who was born at 35 weeks and 3 days weighing 2525g, measuring 44cm at 9.13pm at Oslo Ulleval Universitetssykehus.