41 weeks pregnant and no signs of labour – is that normal? Read this mum’s account when her firstborn came much later than she expected.
In this article, you’ll read:
- Preparation for normal delivery
- Prolonged labour
- Difficulties of a mum in labour and delivery
I filed for maternity leave when I was just seven months pregnant with my first baby. It was earlier than what’s usually expected. Can you imagine my excitement?
Parents do a lot of preparation before they get to the “Welcome to Sleepless Nights!” part. That includes making sure that the house and all of the baby’s needs are in order.
As first-time parents living independently in another country, it was essential for us to prepare for the coming of our little one.
What I learned from prenatal classes
The prenatal class can be beneficial to parents in preparation for labour, delivery and proper way of breastfeeding. It helps parents know how to properly take care of their baby, from the newborn stage up to the first year.
One of the topics that were discussed was the possible changes that first-time parents might experience once the baby comes out. I can say that attending a prenatal class was one of the reasons we became more confident in parenting our child.
My husband and I felt more at ease in our worries, fear, and overthinking. We learned about different ways of giving birth, such as normal, home, and cesarean delivery.
However, the prenatal class I attended encouraged soon-to-be mums to do normal delivery. They taught us proper breathing and pushing during normal delivery. Because of this, I was dead set on having a normal delivery. I was so confident that I could make it!
I believed my pain tolerance is high, and I was eager to experience what they call the “Ring of fire” personally. This refers to the passage in the cervix where the baby comes out.
41 weeks pregnant and no sign of labour
The due date has finally come — the 4oth week!
Around this time, I was so ready to give birth. I would always check if the baby was still moving in my tummy. Every time I couldn’t feel him, I would drink lots of water.
I was also bombarding our midwife with questions. I would run through every scenario that could happen when it was finally time. I wanted so badly to utter the famous line: “My water bag broke!”
I have reached the 41st week of my pregnancy, but it seemed like my baby did not want to come out yet. I did everything I could to start my labour, but nothing happened. I was 41 weeks pregnant and had no signs of labour. That’s when we decided to proceed to the hospital to do labour induction.
Induced labour in my 41st week of pregnancy
Here is the timeline of when my hospital-induced labour started:
9 AM – my induced labour started at the hospital. I did not eat my breakfast so that I may be able to push the baby easier. The nurses inserted a small hook in my cervix for the labour to start.
12 PM – Still no contraction. I was already hungry and starting to get weak. The doctor allowed me to eat just enough food to gain strength for when I’m about to push the baby out.
3 PM – While lying down and resting, I read the booklet on cesarian delivery. I was a bit worried thinking about the possibility of me having an emergency cesarean delivery.
We did not go in-depth with cesarean delivery during prenatal class, so I was a bit nervous. I didn’t have an idea of what to do and expect.
Medication to start contractions
After a while, they transferred me to a bigger room, where my delivery would take place. They put an IV drip in my arm, which is what they use for the contraction in the cervix to start.
The nurse told me that labour has already begun. But I did not feel any pain. It must be because I have tolerance for it.
5 PM – I got hungry again. But I wasn’t allowed to eat anymore, so I only drank water and an energy drink.
The pain started to set in
After an hour, the pain started to set in. I asked for Nitrous Oxide, better known as “laughing gas” to help ease my pain due to contraction. As the IV drip dosage increased, contraction intervals also became slimmer.
Meanwhile, I heard another pregnant mum giving birth in the other room. Hers was quick. The mum yelled and I heard the baby cry after a while.
Suddenly, I felt continuous jabs in my belly due to contractions. I was in so much pain. I really wanted the baby to come out.
Hours passed, but my cervix still did not open. It was already midnight, and the pain was getting worse, but still, only 3 centimetres dilated. It seemed like the baby still didn’t want to come out of my womb.
I started crying because I could no longer tolerate the pain. It felt like all the lessons and preparation did not work out. I realised how hard it was to give birth.
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Going on a different route
The pain was becoming unbearable. The midwife told me that I could request for an epidural. My husband and I immediately signed the consent to having one.
I was about to close my eyes when the midwife told me not to sleep for the baby’s sake. I closed my eyes, trying to get some rest when I heard the hospital staff discussing my condition.
As the labour went on, my blood pressure and baby’s heart rate decreased. According to them, I had to stop having the IV drip and prepare for an emergency cesarean delivery. When I heard that cesarean delivery is needed, all I could say was,
“Please do whatever you need to do to save my baby and me.”
While I was in the theatre room at around 6:30 AM, I felt scared and nervous and started shaking. They said that what I was feeling was just normal due to the anaesthesia.
I was wide awake during the procedure. After a few minutes, I heard my baby cry. That sound brought me immediate joy and happiness. They put the baby in my chest; I think it was what they call “skin to skin.”
My husband and I cried and got emotional. All the struggles and difficulties that I felt a while back vanished when I saw Antonio, our son. I was so grateful for the blessing my husband and I received that day.
Image Source: Unsplash
New parents, it is normal to feel nervous and worried. It is completely fine if you think that your knowledge is not enough. You may ask questions and get help from your family and friends. If you have the means, you may enrol in a prenatal class.
There is a possibility that you may not be able to use what you have learned. But what’s important is that you become mentally and psychologically prepared. Follow your instincts and all the professional advice for the safe delivery of your baby.
Translated with permission from theAsianparent Philippines.