My Painful Third Labour By Noor Azila - "Epidural Wasn't Enough"...

My Painful Third Labour By Noor Azila - "Epidural Wasn't Enough"...

But the pain was no longer bearable and I had to ask for an epidural top-up. But it wasn't enough, as I could have broken the wooden bed handle while screaming my lungs out because it was so terribly painful.

It all began with my checkup appointment on Friday, 2nd October at 9. 55 am. Upon reaching the hospital, I had this sudden craving for Mc Donald’s Hot Cake. So in I went, ordered and ate to my heart’s content. Only after my hunger was satisfied, did I go for my checkup.

Upon reaching the hospital, the medical officer did a VE and discovered that I was already 3 cm dilated. She was happy with my decision to seek admission to the hospital immediately (I didn't want to take a risk to go back home or to work).

Unfortunately I was informed that the Delivery Suite (DS) and my chosen ward was full! Would you believe it -- I spent 30 minutes in front of the counter waiting for an empty bed? I used the time to call my colleagues informing them that I wouldn't be returning to the office that day. In the end I managed to secure Bed 7 in Ward 32 . I was hoping for Bed 18, just to complete the tradition since my first child Wani arrived in Bed 16, and my second baby Hariz came into the world in Bed 17. But ultimately, I was just glad I had a bed to lie on!

Checking in to the ward

I got to the ward, changed into the standard clothing, then rummaged my humongous bag for my phone charger, only to realise that I HAD LEFT IT AT HOME! I nearly screamed. I was out of contact with the outside world and had to use the phone at the nurses' station to call my husband requesting him to bring a charger later on in the day.

At 12.15 pm I was strapped and set to start my CTG. Lunch was served by then, and if I remember correctly, it was rice, chicken rendang with some vegetable which I did not eat and a bowl of tasteless soup!

At 12.35 pm, a doctor came and asked some routine questions. I took the opportunity to ask him when I would be surgically induced. He said he had no idea when it would be done, because they had to depend on the labour ward's availability. However, I was assured that they would try to do it by the end of the day. He left, and I napped for half an hour.

At 1.27 pm, I was done with the CTG. At 2.00 pm, a check was done for the fetal heartbeat. All was well. I was so bored by then I decided to go window shopping at the retail mall. I bumped into my hubby at the lift lobby. He had lunch, while I accompanied him.

I returned to the Ward at 3.30 pm, just in time for a tea break, which was hot Milo. Hubby stayed, and I got comfortable. I had a show at 4.50 pm, but I was relatively pain-free. By 5.10 pm, the Delivery Suite was still full and I had another show at 7.04 pm. My husband and I went to have dinner about 8.00 pm and he ate a full meal while I just nibbled on some things. I returned to my bed at 9.12 pm only to learn there was STILL NO VACANCY AT Delivery Suite!

By 10.00 pm, my husband left for home as he himself wasn't feeling too well. I was left alone and so bored that I updated my Facebook status until I drifted off to sleep at 11.15 pm.

The real deal

Then suddenly, at 12.51 am, I was awakened by a sharp, strong pain (pain scale of about 5 out of 10). I knew that was it.... the real contraction, as it was similar to the ones I had while I was in labour with Hariz.

Half an hour later, I had another contraction. At 1.40 am, while I was exchanging text messages with my husband, he told me to inform the nurse of the pain, so that they could get a bed in the Delivery Suite for me. Another wave of pain came at 1.50 am. I rang for the nurse and told her. By 2.04 am, the wheelchair came for me and I went to the Delivery Suite to be warded in room 29. At 2.21 am, I had another contraction.

I had a bacteria called Group B Strepp, or GBS, and the treatment required was antibiotics in labour, so as to prevent any infections to the baby during delivery. The antibiotics had to be administered for 4 hours, which means, only after the treatment could the doctor break my water bag. I was set up to the drip at 2.45 am.

Four hours passed by uneventfully. I drifted in and out of sleep, while my husband snored away beside me. At 7.20 am, the doctor on duty, did another VE before breaking the water bag. I was almost 5 cm dilated now. I then requested that the epidural to be administered. It was set up at 7.55 am, and completed by 8.22 am. Immediately I felt itchy around the abdomen area (one of the side effects, apparently), and I was still leaking amniotic fluid! My legs began to feel heavy at 8.33 am, but not totally numb. Three doctors came to visit at 8.39 am. From the CTG, it showed that I was having irregular contractions. They planned to start oxytocin and I got hooked on at 9.01 am.

At 10.41 am, a catheter was inserted inside me. According to the nurse, sometimes after having cleared the bladder, the baby's head would then drop further down, making delivery faster. By 11.00 am I was having contractions every 5 minutes. That wasn't supposed to have been the case, as the epidural was administered to block all pain.

At 11.16 am, another VE was done (and I could still feel the pain!) I was already about 6 cm dilated. But darn it, the pain was no longer bearable and I had to ask for an epidural top-up, which was administered at 11.34 am. But the double top up wasn't enough, as I could have broken the wooden bed handle while screaming my lungs out because it was so terribly painful.

At 11.50 am, I was writhing away. I turned to my left side and whimpered to the midwife that I was in intense pain. She was kind enough to say that if I felt it was time to push, then I should go ahead with the impulse, despite the doctors' exam which revealed that the baby's head had not yet dropped. Another VE was done showing I was already FULLY DILATED. That could have been the reason why I was in so much pain.

At the peak of the next contraction, I took a deep breath, and pushed with all my might. Suddenly the room became so hot, I had sweat pouring down my face. I forced my husband to fan me with a newspaper. Even when I heard the midwife say that she was going to let me tear naturally, I had no energy left to object.

All the pushing, panting and silent prayers came to an end at 12.22 pm when the baby was safely delivered. One look and I was convinced she was as tiny as her older sister had been at birth. So yes, imagine my surprise when the midwife read out her weight -- 3525 grams at 51 cm!

There you go, my labour story for my Baby Aisyah. I dare say this was the most memorable labour I've been through, compared with my other two sessions for Wani and Hariz. So no more additions after this one! I'm still traumatised by the whole thing!

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Written by

Noor Azila

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