Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Aidan Journey

Holy Thursday
By the time Wei returned from work, I had worked up an appetite to have Thai for dinner.

We ordered papaya salad as it was said to be a natural induction. My tummy didn't settle too well. Bud was moving quite a bit that night and I wondered if those movements could be deciphered as panic movements?

Good Friday
I had very light sleep and by 5.30am, with contractions that became more regular, I went to the living room to record the timings. Wei was still in dreamland. If this is the real thing, he'll need his rest for sure. I watched this really slapstick movie called Superhero Movie and managed to laugh some in between contractions.

0547hr: I send sms to Shan, Jie and Linda to tell them early labour as started: contractions every 10 min for 45 s.

I call the hospital to reserve Suite 12, the bigger water birthing suite, and asks the nurse to expect my arrival soon.

0700hr: Wei awakes, sits with me for a while before deciding to catch another 40 wink.

0900 - 1230hr: I manage to sleep some.

Aidan really chooses a good time to come. Dr. Chong announces that he will not be available to deliver baby from 1800 - 0000hr 'cos he's got a dinner he needs to go to. Deb, the mid-wife, had skipped town over the long weekend. "So it's just the 3 of us", I conveyed to Sandra, my Doula.

A flurry of sms were exchanged between Sandra and I on updates. Poor her, she had her family from France in town over the long weekend as well. Think she will have to kiss it good-bye.

1300hr: Wei goes out to buy lunch from Cedele. I have Rosemary Chicken. Wei has his usual Turkey.

1419hr: She asked if I wanted her to hop on over to check. I tell her I'll manage. "If you have to really stop talking during contractions it's time to go...erratic (timing) is normal labour...don't wait too long for a perfect pattern..."

I then tell her it's time and announce to Wei the same. For the first time, I saw anxiety in Wei's face as he gathered to pack some last minute stuff into the overnighter.

1500hr: Sandra arrives and we proceed to NUH.

1530hr: Sandra preps the room for us.

Baby heartbeat monitor

Breathing through a contraction

Eating while I can

1900hr: Dr. Chong drops by for a visit looking dapper and smelling clean en route to his dinner appointment. He gives me a VE and tells me I am 4 cm dilated.

2000hr: I decide to hop into the tub to get the contractions going.

Breathing through a contraction

2200hr: Contractions started coming fast and furious. I am quiet and no longer sociable.

Holy Saturday
0000hr: Dr. Chong pops by to see how things have progressed. My contractions have become erratic and I moan my way through each surge.

Taken by Sandra @ 0135hr. Love this shot.

Wei providing pain relief.

0100 - 0500hr: Each surge becomes back breaking, spine tingling. My moans become more audible. Dr. Chong, whom I was told was sleeping in the room next door, comes in to intervene. He asks for my permission to do another VE and announces that I am 5cm dilated. My labour had stalled; for some reason my body was not working with me at all. The baby is still doing fine but he is worried about me carrying on. He gives me my options:
1) Artificial Rupture of Membrane (AROM) aka breaking water bag to speed up labour; if this fails then;
2) Induce with pitocin to establish a regular pattern if this doesn't work then;
3) Cesarean.

He reminds me that it is about having as natural a birth as possible and gives us some time to think about it.

I was a tad nauseous, sleepy but mostly drained. I had gone on in active labour for 12 hours already. Once he ruptures the water bag, the contractions are going to break me for sure. My reserves were running low - I knew it. Do I continue being cavalier or should I get pain relief? Could I take this for another 5, 10 hours?

I remember lying on the bed, turning away with my eyes closed to weigh my options. I felt like a huge failure. How can my body fail me at a time like this? I'd been geared up for this and practiced it in my mind. As I saw my dream of having a water birth washed away, I knew for sure I DID NOT want a cesarean at any cost. Time was running against me and decisions had to be made fast.

When we made the decision for the water bag to be burst, I saw the room transform from tranquil (it was dark with music playing) to hostile. Lights were turned on, many nurses came in & out, equipments were wheeled around. I was poked, strapped and given an order not to eat.

0630hr: The anesthetist comes. More needles and drips.

Thinking through my decision

0700hr: In epidural bliss and at rest.

I managed to get some rest while Wei still pottered around. Poor him, he's been up for as long as I had been in labour.

0800hr: AROM does not work - contractions still irregular at 10 min apart. Pictocin in. More rest in between.

Down & out

1000hr: Doc comes in to give me VE. She announces that I am 10 cm dilated. Dr. Chong has been informed and he is on his way in.

The table of tools - all ready for the man of the hour

Sandra nice and clean

Dr. Chong's fishing boots...heheheheh....

1100hr: Dr. Chong shows up and gets his hands dirty. I was eating amidst surges to gain strength for the birthing. With 10 contractions, 30 pushes, Aidan slid out of his cozy comfort to meet the world.

A very private moment indeed

At long last

Wei cutting the cord with Dr. Chong

I love, love , love this picture.

Post-mortem: I think having the epidural was probably the best thing that happened to me. I got my rest which was crucial to see me through to the most important end -- breathing Aidan down. I felt the contractions coming on --- & no pain! During the third stage of pregnancy, my uterus had problems expelling the placenta. Dr. Chong went fishing for it. If I didn't have the pain relief, it would have been impossible for him for retrieve it without further pain. Would I try for water birth again? Sure...but I'll keep the anesthetist on stand-by. ;-)

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