Continued from Part 25 – The Long-Awaited Arrival of Baby C! (1/2)
L, who was checking on my dilation at the moment informed the room that I was 10cm dilated and there would not be a need to inform the anaethestist about my problem because I was ready to push! Omg! I was quite surprised and happy that I could finally push and be done with labour. L taught me how to push and I was supposed to practice it when I felt my contractions, while waiting for Dr Jessie Phoon to arrive, in at least 30min’s time. I was told to open my legs wide apart and use my arms to support both my thighs and bring them closer to my chest when I was pushing. As there was only total numbness in my left leg, I had no strength to hold it up at all and Sunshine had to support my heavy left leg for me (I could support my right leg on my own) while we practised pushing.
There were many times in which L had to leave the room to attend to her other patients. At a time like this when I was about to deliver, I felt quite helpless to be left alone in the room together with Sunshine, especially since we were first-time parents and had totally no idea what to expect. We were just told to continue practising as I was apparently directing my energy to my face instead of to my pelvis. Honestly, it was quite tiring and the contractions I felt in the right side of my body was painful though I think this pain had already been somewhat reduced by the little epidural going to my right side. I kept asking Sunshine what if I failed in delivering Baby C naturally and we ended up having an emergency Caesarean? All our efforts and pain that both of us suffered would be for nothing. I was quite worried and a little demoralised. Sunshine managed to calm me and got me to focus on the task at hand. To me, giving birth was such an arduous task that I told Sunshine I would probably feel so touched and cry when I finally deliver Baby C.
Finally, I felt something near my anus, like a piece of shit sliding out. I finally understood why people said giving birth is like shitting then. The curious me went to touch it and I felt something soft and slimy. This kind of freaked me out as I was unsure of what I was touched and I started to shiver uncontrollably, partly due to the side effects of the epidural as well. Sunshine tried to comfort me as much as he could by hugging my head, soothing my hair and telling me everything was ok, that it was just Baby C that I was touching. He told me he could see “something” below as well. I was just frightened and wondered if we could safely handle Baby C if I were to deliver her alone with Sunshine by my side. After some time, L came back and informed us what we had already known, that Baby C was coming out; she could see Baby C crowning. She then told me to hold off pushing, to retain my energy for pushing when Dr Phoon arrived. When Dr Phoon finally arrived, I was told to start pushing again and as my first few pushes were ineffective (they were too short; I was supposed to sustain my pushes longer but I did not know and hence, did not take in a breath deep enough to do so). I think I had about five cycles of pushing (each cycle with about three pushes) before I felt Baby C sliding out and everyone in the room telling me that Baby C was finally out. L immediately exclaimed the time of birth (and I turned to the clock to see it for myself) while I continued delivering my placenta unknowingly.
I had expected Baby C to scream and cry immediately on birth but she lagged for a few seconds before wailing her lungs out. Lol. Upon hearing this, instead of crying, I heaved a sign of relief and exhaustion and smiled to a smiling Sunshine. When he was asked if he wanted to cut Baby C’s umbilical cord, Sunshine took me by surprise and gamely agreed. We had discussed this before and he refused to do it as he felt squeamish about blood, bodily fluids and the like in general. In fact, if he could have his choice, he wanted to be outside of the delivery room, waiting for me to deliver. L carried Baby C to me for her first skin-to-skin contact and her first latch. Perhaps because Baby C was born at full term, 40 weeks exactly, I thought she had a very good latch. She was suckling furiously while Sunshine and I both stared at this little human being we had created and waited to see for so long. After a while, L took Baby C for her assessment within the room and Sunshine followed them to take pictures. Hehe. Oh. Baby C’s weight remained unchanged from 37+ weeks onwards, at about 2.9kg.
In the meantime, L was administering an analgesic suppository after confirming it with Dr Phoon, who was stitching me up. Unlike some of my friends who mentioned that they could feel their doctors stitching them, I felt nothing which was good. After stitching me, she examined and explained to me that my uterus should feel soft *press press* and there should not be any lumps, which might mean that there were blood clots within or something. I could not really understand how a normal uterus should be in the immediate post-partum period but Dr Phoon assured me that everything was good at the moment. According to her, she did an episiotomy for me but there was still a minor tear which was nothing to worry about.
After everything was done (assessment for Baby C settled, she was tagged as my daughter, L had helped to clean me up), Sunshine and myself were left alone to bond with Baby C. We were told that we had to stay in the delivery suite for monitoring for at least an hour before we could be sent up to the ward. I was encouraged to latch Baby C again for as long as she wanted. However, I soon suffered from the side effects of the epidural and started vomiting again. It was so bad that I could not even hold Baby C, much less latch her again. I just kept vomiting while Sunshine, who had to attend to me, had to leave Baby C in a cot in the room. Baby C was crying out loud in the cot (either to be held or fed) while I could only hopelessly vomit and stare at her from a distance. I felt so helpless not being able to comfort my baby because of the stupid side effects! *cries* L came in and suggested to send Baby C up to the ward nursery for her to be fed first while I continued to be monitoring in the delivery suite for my nausea/vomiting and numbness. I felt so useless; I had colostrum for my baby yet I could not feed her and she had to be fed formula milk. Sad. I was given once dose of anti-emetics (maxolon) intravenously (IV) which helped me temporarily. I managed to nap for a while after that. However, as I was still vomiting after I woke, I was given another type of IV anti-emetics (ondansetron). Eventually, I felt much better and the numbness in my left leg had also subsided a little. I was finally able to be sent up to the ward to be reunited with Baby C, about five hours after I gave birth!
Click to read Part 25 here.
Click to read Part 26 here.