Birth Story

17Nov09:

3 days before Calvin came to this world, I went for my usual gynae appointment to check on his progress. He was coming along fine. Doctor estimated that Calvin was about 1.4-1.5kg, still within the normal range but a little on the small side. So I was to go for a growth scan in 3 weeks to check that he continues to grow fine. My water level was high so everything looked pretty hunky dory. We made appointments to see him again 3 and 6 weeks later. There was no suspicion at all of what was to come.

20Nov09 – 21Nov09

Am: I went for a dental appointment in the morning. The day went fine – many people gave up their seat for me in the MRT, I had a good lunch, dentist was quite nice etc.

9pm:  I started to get contractions that  hurt enough that I had to lie down. Initially, I thought it was Braxton Hicks which I had been getting on and off. After half an hour, the pain didn’t go away. I got hubby to time the contractions and it was about 5 mins apart.  We decided to go to the 24hr clinic at KKH. If nothing else, they can help with the pain and stop the contractions. I still didn’t really think I was in labor.

10pm: We got to the hospital. In the car, the contractions were coming more frequently at 2 min intervals. I was wheelchaired into the delivery room. Once they found out I was having premature labor, they started to set up a drip and gave me some medication that is supposed to halt the contractions. The MO on duty was quite young and relatively inexperienced at finding the vein for the drip and to draw blood. It didn’t help that mine are fairly evasive, but I have to say her injection was more painful than the labor contractions at that time. They also gave me a steroid injection to try and strengthen the baby’s lungs.

At one point, I think I heard one of the nurses say that I was 6 cm dilated. They gave me the laughing gas to help relieve the pain. But I wondered why I didn’t laugh at all. I’m not even sure if it took away any of the pain. They told us that because I was in preterm labor, they were unable to give me an epidural.

It didn’t seem like my contractions were slowing at all. I heard the nurse say that we’ll have to go through with it. By then, the pain was so overwhelming that my brain was going into survival mode. I could only concentrate on the pain and the voices of the people around me. There was one time my gynae was talking to Johnny and he thought that I probably won’t be able to hear what he’s saying. But I felt surprisingly lucid. I could hear and understand what was going on very well.The nurses kept giving me conflicting instructions on what to do with the laughing gas though – breathe faster, take deep breathes, breathe slower. It could be that I was starting to hyperventilate. Anyway, I just followed whatever instructions they gave me. I was in no position to think about alternatives.

All this while, darling was standing next to me and giving me encouragement. Contrary to the stories I read of wives who would curse and scream at their husband in the labor room, I was more concerned that he will be worried about me. I remember how he used to tell me during the pregnancy that he was very afraid that something will happen to me and I would leave him behind. So during the labor process, I was actually trying to reassure him that I was ok fine. I squeezed his hand even though the tension had numbed my limbs and I barely felt anything. Hearing his voice was a great reassurance and source of relief for me.

Finally, I was 10cm dilated. The pain was getting excruciating. The nurse gave me instructions on when to push when the contractions came. It’s quite interesting because without the contractions, the body’s ability to push is greatly reduced even if I will it to. In between contractions, I would rest when I can. My legs were feeling weak and wobbly. After a few pushes, baby Calvin’s head had started to emerge. The nurse had to give me an episiotomy (An episiotomy is a surgical incision through the perineum made to enlarge the vagina and assist childbirth – wikipedia). It was the most painful part of the whole experience perhaps because I wasn’t expecting it. I felt like I was being torn apart. The pain from the cut was also much more concentrated and localized compared to labor contractions.

After less than 10 pushes, baby Calvin was born despite all our efforts to keep him in. He is a little midnight child, born on 00:08 of 21Nov 2009. His birth weight is 1.63 kg, much better than what we had expected from the last gynae visit but still he was so small and fragile. I barely saw him before they whisked him off to the Neonatal ICU.

Calvin on 22Nov@NICU. Initially, he had a CPAP for assisted breathing but it had been taken off. Still had a drip on his right hand.

One Response to “Birth Story”

  1. 2 Weeks Old « My Mini Minion Says:

    […] for me, I recovered rapidly from childbirth (read about Calvin’s birth story here). I was discharged from the hospital after 2 days. Thereafter, my main duty is to provide milk for […]

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