[Birth Story] How I delivered Baby El with no pain relief

Baby El Birth Story

Before zooming into Baby El’s birth story (induction with no pain relief), here’s a quick update:

It’s been 3 weeks since the confinement lady left. Over the past week, Jae developed a fever and cold, followed by Vee. I’m slightly affected too. Gosh, I’ve been battling tsunami waves of major tantrums one after another from the boys.

Add in a baby who needs to be cuddled / rocked / nursed / changed frequently, and no wonder I wish I’m Mummy Octopus with 8 arms. Thank goodness for our helper who cooks, cleans and occasionally helps out with the kids.

Anyway, here goes the birth story, while my post-delivery brain still remembers it…

Second Last Check-Up

15 Nov 2013

39 weeks of gestation. Baby’s due on 24 Nov, but still no “action” except for Braxton Hicks contractions that were on and off.

From the beginning, we knew that our trusted female ob-gyn would be on vacation from 25 Nov. After discussing, we decided to continue waiting for baby to arrive.

Last Check-Up

22 Nov 2013

2 days before EDD and baby’s still comfy inside me. 2cm dilated, no regular contractions.

I assumed that the replacement oby-gyn would be another female doctor, whom I wouldn’t mind. Then I’m updated that the replacement ob-gyn this time would be a male instead. Oops… something unexpected .

I looked forward to a natural delivery with no pain relief, which I knew is possible only if I feel completely relaxed. I also know myself well enough that I can’t relax fully with a male ob-gyn I see for the first time.

We explored the option of inducing the birth gently. The doctor said that I’m a suitable candidate. The induction wouldn’t fail. Since she supports natural delivery, she doesn’t recommend it. It’s for us to decide.

We booked at appointment for induction for the following night. Went home to think about it again and double-confirmed our decision. Out of 3 babies, this would be my first induction experience. And I trust my ob-gyn to do it gently.

Inducing the Birth

23 Nov 2013

9.45p.m.: Settled the older boys, Vee and Jae, to bed. Hubby and I sneaked out of the room after they fell asleep while MIL stayed with them.

10.15p.m.: Reached hospital. Interestingly, this is the first time hubby and I got to sleep overnight without the older kids.

11p.m.: Still 2cm dilated. Prostaglandin half tablet 1.5mg to induce the birth. Tried to catch some sleep.

On D-Day

24 Nov 2013

6a.m.: Still 2cm dilated. Another half tablet Prostaglandin 1.5mg to induce the birth.

8a.m.: Doctor came. As a Group B Step carrier, I was given penicillin via injection. She’d examine me at 12 noon.

10a.m.: Strong frequent contractions. Finally, some progress!

How I managed pain during contractions: Through every contraction, I fully relaxed my mind and focused on deep breathing. I’d image myself blowing a candle far away or image blowing baby out of the birth canal. This is where Shichida imaging techniques came in very useful.

As per my second labour, I like to curl up on my right side with head slightly raised. This position also relieves the pain on my left hip bone, which I get during pregnancy due to slight scoliosis. I relaxed my hands and tried to feel as soft as a bunny, something I learnt during prenatal class years ago.

Although walking about could speed up the labour, I chose not to do it. For my first labour, I learnt that walking about made me tired, especially with my painful left hip bone. And if I’m exhausted, I won’t be able to focus on my breathing and relaxation. So I chose my most comfortable position, which worked for my second labour (a very fast one).

11a.m.: Contractions at 6-minute interval.

12p.m.: Doctor asked midwife to examine. 4cm dilated. Cervix 1.5cm thick and soft.

12.15p.m.: Given next dose of penicillin and oxytocin for further induction

12.50p.m.: Very strong contractions. 5cm dilated.

1.10p.m.: 8cm dilated. EXTREMELY strong contractions, when I’d to groan in pain with every breath. This is when I knew baby would arrive soon. And when I tell myself “NO MORE BABIES AFTER THIS ONE!”

Doctor told me not to push yet and wait till 10cm dilation to prevent tearing. I tried my best to focus on breathing and not to push, which is so hard when there’s the urge to do so.

Then suddenly, while I was still lying on my side, I felt baby’s head emerge. Things just happened so quickly and we were all surprised that it took only 5 minutes from 8 to 10cm dilation. Doctor told me to lie down properly so that they could get the baby.

1.15p.m. Job accomplished! Baby El was born, with no perineal tear. Yippie, my first time! And I’m glad that all was over in only 3 hours 15 minutes from the time of strong regular contractions, similar to my second labour.

After Delivery

5p.m.: After Baby El was cleaned up, I started to breastfeed him. Being a third time mum, things were definitely much easier. Once the latching was done correctly, everything else fell into place. It took several hours before we were transferred to the normal ward.

I spent two nights in hospital — just Baby El and me. He was easy the first night and difficult the second. I latched him on and off from 5p.m. to 4a.m.!!! Turned out that he wanted to pass gas and poo. After he relieved himself, he was much calmer. Thankfully, not another fussy high-needs baby.

Life Now

Baby El is 7 weeks old now and still spends much time sleeping day and night. In the day, he’s often in the sarong sling or Fisher Price rocker chair while I handle Vee and Jae. Nap-time, he’s swaddled and sleeps in the cot for up to 2+ hours, if I’m lucky.  When all three boys are taking their naps, I get much-needed peace, writing articles or creating homeschooling materials.

Night-time, I sleep with him in the homeschool room so that his cries don’t disturb the hubby and the older boys. He rarely cries at night, as long as he’s fed, burped well and clean. So far, I’m glad we’re getting into a good rhythm.

I’m so looking forward to him growing up to 2 years old so that all three kids can do a lot more activities together. Swimming, cooking, playing, etc. It’d be fun! 🙂

P.S. Here are my other birth stories:

Do you have a birth story to share? Feel free to share your link or write it in the comments box.

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