A look into pain before and after labour
New mum Kristelle Li exclusively shares her labour story with us. Read on to know exactly what happened with her at the delivery room.
I was 41 weeks 4 days when I delivered my baby. The process was not all smooth but everything was over safely.
Before giving birth, I was always at home surfing the internet reading up on giving birth, birth plans and etc... I also talked to people with experience so I could decide on how my labour would be planned.
Many of the people I talked to would say it is the best if you give birth naturally. Though the process of contractions and the point of giving birth would be of extreme pain but after birth, the pain would be tolerable and you would be able to walk.
On the other hand, for a cesarean, the process of giving birth would not be painful as there will be anesthesia given to you before the operation but the pain comes straight after the effects of anesthesia wear off. On top of that, the pain would be quite bad as it will affect you for weeks, even when you walk.
I decided to go for natural birth as it sounded less painful and also because I am an active person so I knew I would not lay in bed and stay still. However, I ended up in pain before labour and after labour. Why do I say so? That is because I stayed in the delivery room trying for natural birth for 13+hours but ended up I had an emergency cesarean.
On the day of my final appointment, I was asked to stay in the hospital to induce birth due to the lack of aminoic fluid from the scan done by the doctor. Went to the delivery ward for the medication and headed to the normal ward for it to take effect. At the ward, I was chatting with my husband as per normal. Not much pain and the nurses thought I had good tolerance in pain as the contractions are quite frequent but I didn't feel it.
Soon, It was time to go back to the delivery room for the doctors to check on me. To me, this was the worst part of my whole labour process. My husband went out for a while to get something. The first doctor came and without asking, she put her hand in to see how much I was dilated. Then, another doctor came in.
I realised she was not the doctor who was going to help me in my labour. The next doctor was much better and it did not hurt as much. He told me I was 3 cm dilated and he would have to break my waterbag. While my husband was away, I had no time to stop them at all, I could have taken a shower first before they broke my water bag as I would not be able to bath during confinement but it was too late.
After the water bag broke, pain started to get more intense. I managed to tolerate without using pain relief for the first 3 hours. The nurse told me I could use the laughing gas when I needed.
I used it for the next 5 hours or so. During this time, there was this nurse with me. She was really experienced because as she touched my tummy, she knew that my baby was quite big.
So she suggested if I wanted to go for caesarean but I insisted to wait as the scan I did earlier estimated that the baby was about 3440grams. I should have listened to her rather than to believe in a machine. She was a great nurse.
She comforted me, talked to me along with my husband. She suggested that I should not wait till I am in extreme pain to consider epidural as the procedure would take about 20 mins and getting a doctor specialising in anesthesia takes some time too as it was past midnight. So on the 8th hour, when my pain level was about 8, I got my epidural. Luckily I did as the nurse said after I had my epidural, the two rooms beside me also wanted it and one of them will have to wait. Just a tip on taking epidural as many labour stories says that epidural is painful, to not feel that pain just continuously take in laughing gas. You will not feel anything. But I inhale it as I forgot to take the mask of as I was too floaty from it already. I had side effects of shivering after epidural and it would not stop. The doctors dropped by a few times but I was not ready yet. Quoted from the doctor,My baby was trying to force his own way out though.
The morning came, it was time for the nurses to change shift. another nurse came. I was 8cm dilated. The doctor gave me another 2 hours to wait to see if I could dilate till 10cm for natural birth and left the room. However the new nurse kept ranting on me to take caesarean.
It felt as though she did not want to stay with me. It was so discouraging. I do not know if it was how I felt at that moment which affected the baby, 15 minutes after the doctors left, the baby's heart beat went up to 200+. The doctors came back in for observation and said that I would need to go for emergency caesarean as the baby was in distress. Without much choice, I agreed.
I was pushed to the operation theater. As I was shivering, only closing my eyes made my shivering less vigorous. I only opened my eyes a few times. Before the operation, only the dosage of my epidural was increased. The doctor used an ice block to test my senses and I could not feel the ice below my chest.
The operation began.
the doctor told me before hand that I would be able to feel the process just like the doctors touching me without pain. And that was how I felt.
I could feel as though they drew a line just below my abdomen and lots of hands pushing my tummy area. It was not long till I heard my baby's first cry. But at that time, I had no motherly feeling like many would say. I was too overwhelmed by the shivering, and laughing gas. When the doctor carried the baby to me I could not even open my eyes to see how my baby looked like before I closed my eyes again.
I could only remember my baby was a boy and is 3780grams and 53 cm at birth. Soon, we were separated. My baby was off to the nursery where our family members could see him and I was brought to the room where those who had finished their operations, would go to.
I was glad that my baby was born alright and other nurses at my ward were good too. They taught me alot about taking care of my baby. I managed to move around in pain just a day after the operation.
When people ask me of my experience, I would say I experienced both pain before and after. Before is when I was trying for natural delivery and after was for after my cesarean.