Finally I am back in this blog! :) After 3 years, really a lot of things have happened.
Well in between of the arrival of li'l Tyler, HS and I got hitched on 14th Dec 2014...and 1.5 years later our li'l Tyler arrived.
I will just talk about my birth story as I am due to share it with my HypnoBirth practitioner in her FB group...and to relive it while everything is fresh in my mind!
For this pregnancy, I have been diagnosed with GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus) so I was not allowed to deliver later than the due date (post-date). Of course I tried all the possible ways to naturally "induce" the baby out but it did not seem to go anywhere!
2 weeks before due date (38 weeks' gestation)
Went for my usual check up with Dr. Tan, baby was almost in OFP (optimal foetal position) with the head facing right towards the back and heads down and Doc said that it could be "anytime" as the baby's engagement is quite deep already. Which is fine for me as I had started my maternity leave and would be on standby at home anyway. So I just continued with my normal routine and also started the "natural induction" process...as I was hoping to carry the baby till minimum 39 weeks' so I did not want to overdo it.
1 week before due date (39 weeks' gestation)
The bun is still baking in the oven! Doc says despite the engagement, my cervix is still thick and don't seem to be thinning/effaced anytime soon. It might even take weeks so we proceeded to discuss the possibility of induction come 18th June (baby's EDD). Initially I was a bit disappointed having to be induced but doc says even induction can be "gentle"...and a powerful phrase that she told me was "Release your fears"...and she asked me to continue to try the natural induction for another week, especially being intimate with my hubby (for the prostaglandin) LOL TMI!
So the whole week:
2) Walk a lot a lot a lot (I have been walking minimum 4000-8000 steps a day during my last trimester, more during the weekends)
3) Eat pineapples, VCO, kurma
4) Drink lots and lots and lots of coconut water - 1 biji a day
5) Polar bear position
6) Yoga and squats (malasana)
7) Perineal massage
But of course, nothing happened...
18th June 2016 (Saturday)
I checked into Pantai Cheras after a good shower and breakfast @ 7am. Dr Tan arrived shortly after and spoke about the induction methods - after checking she said the cervix has yet to start thinning so will insert prostaglandin suppository to help with the thinning. I was put on CTG intermittently in the labour room and did feel some constant surges (but bearable) and went back to the maternity ward to rest from time to time. As the surges' frequency became lesser and lesser, I walked around the ward, bounced on the birth ball, went downstairs to grab a bite, had kurma and repeated while waiting. At around 5pm, Dr. Tan came back and looked at the CTG charts, the surges were practically non existent anymore so doc decided to insert balloon catherer to aid with the thinning. BUTTTT, when the nurse wanted to tape the tube next to my thighs, the balloon fell out and voila, apparently I am already 4cm dilated! After discussion, rather than another dosage of prostaglandin, we decided to see if nature would take its course during the night. So I had a relatively good night's rest (with just mild surges in between).
19th June 2016 (Sunday)
No progress - so Dr. Tan inserted another dosage of prostaglandin and continued the same process as the day before. This time around, the surges were stronger but still bearable ;) The frequency of the surges were too far apart so I received 3rd dosage @ 4pm and continued with CTG monitoring. I really had to practice some breathing techniques and even to channel the sensation of the surges...in fact I vomited out my sandwich and couldn't really stomach heavy meals...Thankfully the kurma and energy bars really helped...and most importantly to keep myself hydrated (thanks to my dispatch boy, Mr. Hubby who was the runner for whatever I needed). When another VE was done at 11pm I was finally at 7cm! And...the sensation was intense...maybe because I was strapped to the CTG machine intermittently. There were no other patients in the labour rooms so I was really "letting go"...moaning and breathing loudly and "blowing the candle" (tip from Internet)...not really HypnoBirthing anymore as maybe I listened to Birthing Affirmation too many times :D Hubby rested at the foldable couch next to my bed and it was comforting to have him with me. From the CTG and contraction monitoring, my surges were still strong but the frequency gradually reducing through the night (maybe 8 minutes apart?)
20th June 2016 (Monday)
When Dr. Tan dropped by, I was worried she would tell me that I am still at 7cm 0_o"...to be honest, after 48 hours, I was getting quite exhausted (baby is still doing great from the CTG monitoring). I was so happy when she did the VE and told me that I was already at 9cm! But because the frequency was quite far apart, it could drag on into the 4th day (if I want to wait)...or we could intervene a bit more, by rupturing the membrane. Dr. Tan suggested it and I accepted the method as I was already 9cm dilated. True enough, the intensity built up and I did dilate to 10cm (then slow down again) LOL...yes, a bit exasperating but...hey at least I finally made it to 10cm right? After that Dr. Tan asked if I would like to go with pitocin drip to help to increase the frequency of the surges - else I would be nowhere close to have the urge and much needed surges to birth the baby out. The first drip (low dosage) it was more like warm up, I tried to push but it was not going anywhere. Lying down position was a no no for me, I tried to walk and squat but did not feel comfortable either. Then in the end I tried (hands and knees on floor) knees on the bed and hugging the birth ball while gripping on the rails of the bed during the surges. After that the dosage was upped and that's when the I really feel like I can breathe the baby properly. I kind of forgotten my birth breathing/J breathing and was "blow out the candle" like crazy and grunting (yes sometimes when the time comes you just forget everything LOL!). The nurse kindly reminded me to stop wasting the energy and to focus on the breathing inside during surges to breathe out the baby. After trying for maybe 1/2 hour (I think?) finally the nurses could see the baby's head (still in and out)...until I got hang of the rhythm and FINALLY baby's head is crowning (Hubby had sneak preview . That's when everything happened so fast - all the nurses got to work preparing for the arrival of the baby, Dr. Tan appeared out of nowhere and she guided me to breathe the baby out. And I think I did feel the "ring of fire" when the baby's head was descending...at that point any sensation is good sensation, as it brings the baby closer to me! Towards the end - after a slow and steady descent, (Dr even said, you had a slow and steady labour, even when birthing out also slow and steady, slowly breathing out the baby...)I think the baby's waist onwards (??) I might have stopped breathing and gave a slight push instead and the baby just slipped out and of course I had teared :P
And then again everyone was moving again, one nurse came to unbutton my top, the other wiped the blood off the baby, doc was busy with the umbilical cord, hubby was on my side and then the baby was passed to me. :)
What a wonderful moment that was! Really, you kind of forget about the pain that you have been through the past 3 days and especially the past hour! The stitches were done, the placenta was pushed out, the umbilical cord was cut by hubby after it stopped pulsating and I got my skin to skin with baby...the most magical 1 hour in our lives...well at least mine :D Baby was quite alert and just observing his surroundings...fell asleep for awhile and then moved around a bit again. He didn't really crawl...more like not much space for him to crawl...and for him to crawl up the 2 big twin peaks (LOL) would be too much of a challenge! We were left alone for more than 1 hour, and after exploring here and there (he had the best smell ever even though I know it's probably just my amniotic fluid haha), we nudged him to latch. He did latch on like a champion, although he just suckled for a bit and rested, and then suckled a bit more.
After taking our own sweet time we eventually passed the baby to the nurse who was waiting to weigh him - our perfect little baby weighed 3.4 kgs and measured 52 cms!
What we achieved from this HypnoBirth:
1) I had to be induced because of GDM, but it was done in such that it is still gentle, baby was never in distress and had good heart rate throughout the 3 days despite few interventions - and each method was discussed with my husband and I prior to it being administered, I did not feel like I was coerced into any decision
2) No enema, episiotomy
3) Allowed to eat and drink in labour room
4) Free to move around (well during CTG I was strapped but after the wireless CTG was used instead, I was allowed to move around)
5) I could set up the labour room in a manner that I felt at ease in - I had my Bose speakers, IPad, pillows from home and birth ball
6) Birth in any position that you feel most comfortable in
7) Birth companion (my hubby) played an active role throughout the whole birthing process
8) Delayed cord clamping until stop pulsation
9) Immediate skin to skin for 1 hour
10) No painkillers or epidural
All in all, we had the perfect outcome from the long labour - even though my cervix was pretty stubborn for that few days, with HypnoBirth, we made the best out of the situation and just tried to embrace the experience into something beautiful that we would remember for life - the welcoming of our baby Tyler into our lives. :) :)