At 39 weeks (6th April), I was feeling rather depressed. No sign that anything was happening and the physical exhaustion was making it hard to get up in the mornings. I left Cherise with my parents and headed out to make myself feel better. Went for a pre-delivery makeover - cut my hair, had a facial and massage. Thought maybe I was too tense for labour to start.
True enough, after the massage and all, I had the show at 3am (7th April), and contractions were ten minutes apart. By 9am, they were 6 minutes apart. I really didn't want to go to the hospital because I wanted to labour at home as long as possible, but the gynae's office receptionist told me to hurry down as it was my second child and things could happen rather quickly. So at 11am, we saw the gynae and he said I was 3cm dilated. He gave me two options - he could check me into the hospital or I could choose to labour at home. As I was hoping for as natural a birth as possible this time round, I chose not to stay in the hospital as it would leave me with nothing to do but focus on the pain.
So we went for lunch at United Square, hoping the walking would speed things up a bit. The contractions were painful enough now so that I couldn't really talk nor walk during one, but I still managed to get some shopping done. (It's amazing - the woman's capacity to shop under all circumstances...)
At 3pm, we were back at Thomson Medical Centre, this time to stay. At this point, I must add that I think we picked a wonderful doctor this time round. He's got a reputation for being very pro-natural, and this was reflected in the way the nurses at the labour ward treated me. The first question they asked, upon finding out who my doctor was, was, "Do you have a birth plan?" I replied no, but this gave me the opportunity to state that I only had one request - that I not be
I think the attitude of the nurses set the tone for the whole labour process. I had options, hence I felt in control. So different from the last time when I was hustled and bundled and strapped into bed and left there to suffer. I spent the next few hours keeping active, working through my contractions, which weren't half as bad as they were with Cherise. Adrian was a fantastic labour coach - the poor guy massaged my back between contractions, fed me milo when I got hungry, let me lean into his nice tummy when the pain got too much to bear...
At around 6 plus (I didn't note the time), I felt that things were different. I told Adrian to get the nurses, who did hustle me into bed this time, and found that I was 6 to 7cm dilated already. My waters broke, and things happened really quickly now - I kept wanting to push, but the nurses wouldn't let me, not till the doctor arrived, and once he did, David was out in a matter of minutes! Adrian said 3 pushes, I think. Really fast. So our little boy arrived at 6.51pm, 7th April 2009. Here's a video of his first moments:
It was a wonderful experience. If I had any idea of what to expect, I would have wanted it this way. I didn't labour too long in the hospital, and it was as natural a process as it could be. I didn't take any pain relief meds at all, and nobody poked any needles into me. My waters were allowed to break naturally, and I didn't have an episiotomy. Maybe next time I'll try a homebirth! (If there is a next time..)
Thank you - those who were praying with us, and praise God for His hand in all this - from conception to delivery and thereafter!