This is my labor story.
It was about 7 pm on a Thursday night when I felt that something was off. We had gone for a prenatal earlier that day as I was almost in my 40th week of pregnancy. I could feel some mild cramp-like pains in my lower belly. At first, I dismissed them as Braxton Hicks but then, a little later I saw a bit of blood in the toilet bowl. My heart raced and my palms got a bit sweaty. “Am I in labor?” I thought to myself. I told my husband who then smiled and said ” Let’s go?” I could sense a hint of excitement in his voice. To be honest, I was half excited and half panicking myself even though the hospital was just about a 5-minute drive.
I texted my OBGYN and told her what I had observed. She then instructed me to go to the hospital if I couldn’t handle the pain and contractions anymore. I thought I could wait until morning but the pain was getting more and more intense by the hour. The intervals were still irregular but I decided that we should go to the hospital so they could monitor her heartbeat.
We reached the hospital a little past midnight. At the emergency room, the resident doctor did a physical examination and told us that I was only 2-3 cms dilated. My baby’s heartbeat was normal so I was somewhat consoled. Then the nurse on duty wheeled me into the labor room.
In the labor room I was hooked to an IV and baby’s heartbeat was monitored. My OBGYN came in shortly to check on me. For the next 20 or so hours, I’d stay in bed desperately trying to relax and fervently praying that everything go well. The contractions became closer and stronger with each passing hour.
For anyone who is curious about labor pain. Let me describe it to you. It’s like having excruciating leg cramps in your belly. The worst part is not knowing when it will end and when it will come again.
How did I get through it?
Well, first, I think I really wanted to have a normal spontaneous delivery so my mindset was ” Bear the pain.” I could hear my mother’s voice in my head saying ” Let nature take its course”, although I wouldn’t, in a million years, understand how such pain could be described as “natural”.
Second, I had a supportive husband and family. They tried to help anyway anyway they can. He called and texted me quite often to ask how I was. My in laws brought the items that I needed. Even though they were tired from a long flight, my parents and siblings were there to reassure me.
Third, relaxation techniques and previous experiences helped prepare me. I think having heartburn increased my tolerance to pain but I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. Also, I tried to make it an out of body experience. When the pain came, I would breathe deeply and imagine myself being in another place — usually relaxing in a hammock in a beach somewhere.
About 11 pm the following night, my OBGYN informed me that my baby’s heart rate was going up and down. Before she did, I could already hear the monitor and was mentally preparing myself for a C section. But of course, I was anxious and disappointed. I had to go under the knife. They called my husband in and explained the situation.She wasn’t descending into the cervix as expected. They had to perform a C section.
They brought me into the operating room and prepared me for the operation. Next thing I remember, nurses woke me up to congratulate me for having a baby girl.
I was too tired and groggy to even realize what had happened. After almost 24 hours, I had given birth to a healthy 6 lb baby girl.
I had loved her before she was born and I love her more when I held her in my arms.I hadn’t known how to be a good mother but when I saw her I convinced myself that I was going to do my best to be one. I didn’t have the normal delivery I wanted but my baby was normal and healthy. Was it all worth it? Definitely. Somebody wonderful came into the world and made me her mom.
How bout you, what’s your labor story? I would love to know!
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