Little C's Birth Story

Here it is! My last birth story. I decided to write about it while it was still fresh in my mind. I hope that one day, my boys will want to read about how they came into the world.

Unlike G's and J's births, I was in a very positive state of mind about Little C's birth. Given that it was my third birth in four years, I was fairly confident about my ability to handle the labor and delivery. Also, since the ultrasounds showed that Little C was significantly smaller than J was, I would say that I was pretty cocky about my ability to push him out into the world.

But I learned a very important lesson the day Little C was born. Every labor and delivery is different.

Let me start this off by saying that with Little C, I was in no rush to give birth. There were still a lot of things to be done in preparation and I needed all the time I could get to have the house in order. I had a new maid to train, groceries to buy and errands to run in preparation for my month-long retreat into the world of motherhood.

At my 37 week check-up, my OB told me that I was already 1cm dilated, but since that's still in the latent (non-active) phase of labor, it would be a while before I actually gave birth. Besides, while books say that 37 weeks is considered full-term, I really wanted to give Little C some more time inside my tummy to grow. So I took it easy. I avoided going for walks and tried to stay off my feet as much as possible.

But at 37 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy, I woke up to a little bit of bloody discharge and regular contractions coming in at 4-9 minutes apart. Like I said, I was in no rush to give birth, so I decided to observe the contractions for a while. I went to my mom's house with J as planned. By 10 am, there was more discharge and the contractions were still regular. Since everyone was telling me that with this being my third time to give birth, things could progress really quickly and I could go into active labor at any given moment, I made a judgement call and asked my mom to go with me to the delivery room to get checked out. If there was still no progress, at least I could go home with assurance that Little C and I were okay.

At the hospital, my OB checked me out and said I was still at 1cm. I was already hopping off the table, thinking, "Great! I can still go home," when my OB hurriedly added that she didn't feel comfortable with me going home for that night. We live a bit far from the hospital, and she didn't want me suddenly going into labor and having to rush back to the hospital in the middle of the night. I struck a compromise with her and we agreed that I could just go out for a bit, run some errands, do some walking to hasten the labor and just go back to the hospital to get assessed later in the day.

To get some of my to-do's out of the way, my mom went with me to do the groceries. Later in the afternoon, Big C came to get me. We went out, walked for a bit, and had dinner. All the while, the contractions were coming steadily, in regular intervals. At about 830 pm, we went back to the delivery room, but I was only 2cm dilated. I wanted to go home, but again, my doctor didn't feel comfortable sending me home only to have me come back to the hospital in a panic, because I had suddenly gone into active labor. We decided to just get admitted and wait it out in the hospital. My doctor predicted that I would go into labor within 6-8 hours.

The next day brought more contractions, with increasing intensity, but I was still stuck at 2cm. Before the IE, I already told Big C that if there was no progress, I was going home no matter what the doctor said. I was already tired and I missed J terribly. I had never been apart from him for that long, and all I wanted to do was go home and see him. The doctor told us that since we were admitted late, the room was already paid for until late that evening and that it would be a waste for us to go home only to come back. She suggested waiting it out some more until that evening. She also suggested considering a labor induction.

By then I was already really frustrated with the back and forth. I was in no rush to give birth, but I was getting tired of everyone saying that the labor can go very quickly. To make a long story short, Big C and I discussed it thoroughly, and we consented to inducing labor.

The labor induction was started at 1pm, and I was hooked to an IV drip of syntocinon to intensify the contractions. I was also given a dose of buscopan to hasten the dilation of my cervix. In less than an hour, the contractions were coming at 2-3 minute intervals, and each contraction was getting more intense than the last. By 4 pm, there was still no progress, but the doctors assured me that reaching 4cm dilation would really take time and that labor induction was a waiting game.

After 4pm, I was in agony. The contractions were getting to be very painful, but I didn't want to ask for an epidural, at least until I reached active labor. If I did, it might slow down the progress and prolong the labor. So I gritted my teeth and inhaled and exhaled and tried to think happy thoughts. I was due for another IE at 7pm, and I was wishing with all my might that I had progressed to 4cm so that I could get an epidural. Good thing that by then, my anesthesiologist was already there at the hospital.

At this point, I should probably say that this was nothing like my labor with J. That went really well, and I progressed nicely without needing drugs. The pain intensified with each contraction, just as this one did, but the pain was bearable and I was able to last until 6cm dilation before I consented to the epidural.

By 7pm, there was still no progress and I was close to tears already. The next IE was scheduled at 10, and I was counting down the contractions and the minutes until then. The doctors were asking me if I wanted to be sedated, but I said no. To differentiate, sedation and having an epidural are two different things. The epidural basically numbs you, but the sedation would put me to sleep so that I wouldn't be aware of the worst of it. I didn't want to be sedated when I gave birth. I wanted to be awake to welcome Little C into the world.

I was allowed to make calls to the room to update Big C and my family. Sometime between 7pm and 11pm, I called the room and asked to talk to Big C. If I recall correctly, I threatened to smack him because of the pain I was in.

Thankfully, by 11pm, I had jumped to 6-7cm dilation. My water bag was ruptured to hasten the process and I was finally given the epidural. I subsided into a haze of numbness and I called Big C to let him know that it didn't hurt anymore. I probably wasn't making any sense at that time, but hey, you have to cut the lady in labor some slack. When the doctor asked me how I was feeling, I just said woozily, "I love you very much right now, Dra." (which made the doctors in the labor room laugh)

My OB predicted that it would be at least 2 more hours until it was time to push, so I was trying to nap a little bit to shore up my strength. From experience, I knew it would be a sleepless night and I needed all the rest I could get. But in another hour, the doctors told me that Little C was on his way out. I was quickly wheeled to the delivery room.

What followed was the longest and shortest hour of my life. Because the labor progressed much quicker than we expected, I think the epidural didn't have much time to work its way into my system, so I felt everything. It's at this point that I'd like to say hats off to the women who practiced Lamaze when giving birth. I've always said that I wasn't brave enough to undergo a non-medicated birth, and I really applaud the women who do. I was already in so much pain, and I didn't know if I could do it any longer. To think that I was already on a continuous epidural at that point.

When you're pushing a 7-pound something through a very small opening, you can expect that there's a lot of pressure. Thankfully, the epidural took the edge off most of the pain, but I could still feel the pressure as Little C made his way out of my body. You know that scene in movies where the pregnant woman gives one big push and then it's all done? It actually happens that way. You push hard one last time and then everything  just slides right out. I actually felt Little C slide out.

The moment I heard Little C cry, it's like all the cliches about childbirth came true for me. Everything faded into the background, even the unbearable pain that I underwent just mere seconds ago, and all I could focus on was that tiny human being they were placing on my chest. He was so small, much smaller than J was when he was born. It's true. Labor hurts like nothing else, but the minute you see your baby, all that is forgotten.

I gave birth to Little C at nearly 1am, and I was so tired I fell asleep by the time I arrived in the recovery room. When I woke up, every muscle in my body hurt, and I felt like a truck had rolled all over me -- several times. But by 6am, I was at the nursery to hold my son and feed him for the first time. By 9am, my little one was roomed in and there, our journey as a family of four started.

Say hello to my little dude!


Jenny @ Chronicles of A Nursing Mom said...

thanks for sharing your story Dianne!! so for J, it was unmedicated? welcome C!!

quakermommy said...

Oh, no! Haha.. I'm not as brave as you are. :) I still had an epidural with J when I was at 6cm, but I wasn't induced, I went into labor naturally.

Vina said...

Hi, I read in one of your earlier posts that you gave birth at Capitol Medical Center? Were they able to implement the Unang Yakap program?

I'm worried about this since I'm due to give birth at the same hospital in 3 months and I want to exclusively breastfeed my baby.

Thanks! :)

quakermommy said...

Hi Vina! I'm so sorry that I wasn't able to reply to your post until now, and hopefully, you read this before you give birth.

Yes, CMC implemented the basic aspects of the Unang Yakap program. Little C was allowed to crawl on my tummy, but he wasn't able to latch right away. We were given a little bit of time together before he was whisked off for his rubdown. Far as I know, as soon as you're out of recovery, your baby can be brought to you. Just make sure that your pedia of choice informs the residents that the baby should be brought to the room as soon as you are and that you'll be breastfeeding. :) Good luck!

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