When my baby bump got more obvious, people started asking me if I was planning on a natural birth. I didn't know there were unnatural birth methods, so I simply said, yup! But when they looked at me in shock, I knew I was missing something.
This post is the uncensored story of the labour experience for me, if you'd like to read -
As it turns out, there are many options when it came to giving birth. In sequence of pain-relief - laughing gas, epidural (lower body half anesthetic) and the cesarean birth. With many are mini side options in between.
Seriously, pushing a baby out from down below? Of course I wanted pain relief of some sort. I definitely signed up mentally to have the epidural at the very least.
To back track a little, at half past one in the morning the water bag burst and we sleepily made our way to the hospital. There were no significant contractions at this point, so I was even suspicious of whether my water bag had burst.
Within the hour of our arrival, we were comfortably roomed in the labour ward and our kind gynae had arrived to check on my status. (Most doctors only arrive when the dilation is enough for the mum to be pushing) Either way, it was confirmed that the waters have broken and so I was put on a drip to hasten the contractions.
They also strapped me to a monitor which then revealed contractions were happening! But at that point, perhaps I was too sleepy, I really could not tell. The nurses laid out the pain-relief options and again, in my mind I thought I would certainly be screaming for epidural in time to come.
Fast forward several hours, the contractions were certainly kicking in. But when they gave me the option of laughing gas, I'm not sure why I just waved it away. By then, the pangs were coming in ten minute intervals. But the dilation was only 4 centimeters, you usually only start pushing at 10 centimeters. The nurses said, it could take half a day more to get to that point, so I figured this must not the real pain yet.
However, a mere two hours later, they came in and checked. To our surprise, I was now 8 centimeters dilated. But to be very honest, I could not make out the difference between the contractions at 4cm and the contractions at 8cm. They were both to put it simply - PAINFUL. But not unbearable.
The thing is, without realising, that would be my last chance - I rejected the offer for epidural again.
For half an hour later, the contractions peaked, the dilation was ready and we had to push. It was too late now to ask for epidural at this point.
This last fifty minutes of crouching, breathing and pushing? Wow. Seriously. Painful doesn't even cut it. Excruciating might be more accurate. It was so painful, I did not even have the extra energy to scream.
The doctor and J.G. were weirded out that I wasn't screaming my head off. Hey, I was surprised by too! But seriously, the pain plus the pushing required so much effort to handle that I simply could not muster a squeak.
What's more, if you read the birth story, you would know humblet required the help of a vacuum due to the umbilical cord around her neck. In order to fit the head of the vacuum into me, the doctor had to make several cuts to my cervix. Yes, ouch.
As it turned out, I accidentally honoured my word and humblet was delivered through a natural birth assisted with a vacuum. Now, I truly and wholeheartedly admire all mothers. They are crazy.
How did I make it through?
Apart from a lot of prayer. . .I told myself that with every contraction, it was bringing humblet closer to us and that was enough.