Wendy’s Positive Birth with Epidural

“Thank you, Yen! Your prenatal classes were very helpful especially the last few days as I got thrown into breastfeeding at 2-hour intervals. I was flipping through your notes on all the crying cures and how to latch etc. Fortunately, Lila latched quite well and has been quite a calm baby. At least, when she cries, we understand why.” ~ Wendy Chua, first time mother

I Felt More Like Pressure Than Pain

My birth didn’t go as planned. I was feeling more Braxton contractions towards Sunday when I was due to be admitted at night for the inducement. I knew my cervix was softening and I was closed but may have needed that extra trigger. They gave me prostaglandins to soften the cervix at midnight. By 3.00 am, I started having labour contractions. By 8.00 am, it was at 2 minutes interval and quite intense. But I was only 2cm dilated. I was still managing the contractions quite well in the ward, feeling them more like pressure than pain.But when I went down to the delivery suite, things quickly got out of my control. They got me strapped down again with the heartbeat monitor, take a laxative to clear my bowels and blood pressure reading etc. And of course all the questions about pain level despite our birth plan stating not to ask that. I had to negotiate at every step asking when can I have the birth ball, when can I get off the bed because lying down made the contractions worse.

Pitocin Stress Me Up

My Doctor wanted to proceed to the next step which was breaking the waterbag and giving me the Pitocin drip and she did that. I guess the stress built up and at a certain moment, the contractions visibly went from pressure to pain. And it was very difficult to go back to relaxing and breathing it away. Also, with it being so intense at 2 minutes interval and the doctor estimated I still needed 8 hours to dilate, I opted for the epidural. I also slept little and was mentally exhausted to manage the contractions.

My Baby Rejected Pitocin

But the good thing is my body was actually responding to the pill and did not need additional drugs. The baby rejected the Pitocin with heartbeat dipping every time it was given so they switched it off and realised my contractions continued and my dilation was happening fast. So in the end, I didn’t need the second step and my baby avoided the Pitocin as much as possible. I was 10 cm opened by 3-4 pm, after 7hrs.

The Birthing Deviated From the Book

They maintained a low dosage of epidural and lowered it further for the birthing and I started feeling the contractions again. But the birthing was another experience that deviated from the book. The nurses insisted on guided pushing and me holding my breath. I had to sit there negotiating with her and she would tell me to try but it would not work to just breathe down. I had to push instead, but holding my breath was really counter-intuitive and I could not feel I am achieving anything though the nurse assured me the baby was moving. I pushed (though mentally not clench my teeth and relax my vaginal muscles) and had to hold my breath and direct the force down through the abdominal to the vagina as they guided. But still, after an hour, the baby hasn’t crowned.

I Was Exhaused From Pushing

I was quite exhausted but my baby was not near to crowning. So, in the end, another nurse came in and they helped to push my belly. Following, my gynae came in and I told her to help with a ventouse suction if possible. So we tried three times with this team effort and on the third, she cut and did a bit of vacuum, on top of with the help of the nurses pushing my belly while I pushed. Lila came out. I had a second-degree cut that was stitched but didn’t reach the anus.Lila was born 3.345kg heavy and had a big head of 36cm. So even though she was anterior the last phase was tough. Because she seemed to be pressing on my tailbone. I had a horrible back pain that I needed Gucci to massage while I waited for the next surge to push. It was quite unbearable this ache in the tailbone because of the baby’s weight.

I Would Get a Doula & a Pro-HypnoBirth Doctor

Looking back, I was hoping to labour naturally at home and be able to manage contractions without medical equipment strapped to me with my familiar birth ball and labour tools available at home. But having a doctor that supports this is critical and I guess my doctor and her team were not pro-Hypno. I asked to be free from being strapped to the heart rate monitor but at that moment the only mobile heart monitor was in room 15 with Dr Paul Tseng’s patient. And my Doctor insisted on constant observation of the baby’s condition since I am already in active management and medically induced.

I have two friends who successfully managed their births with natural labour with HypnoBirthing. And they both had Doulas. I guess if I were to try this again, I would definitely get a doula and go to Dr Lai FM or Dr Paul Tseng who are known to be pro-Hypno. Maybe also for my second birth, my body will be more ready the next time.

When My Baby Cries, I Know Why!

Nonetheless, I think HypnoBirthing lessons really helped Gucci and me understand the birthing process so much more and I would not be able to remain calm in this entire birth process without it. Especially in the last few weeks. And being calm with breastfeeding and a crying baby.

But when I went down to the delivery suite, things quickly got out of my control. They got me strapped down again with the heartbeat monitor, take a laxative to clear my bowels and blood pressure reading etc. And of course all the questions about pain level despite our birth plan stating not to ask that. I had to negotiate at every step asking when can I have the birth ball, when can I get off the bed because lying down made the contractions worse. And my Doctor wanted to proceed to the next step which is breaking the waterbag and giving me the Pitocin drip and she did that. I guess the stress built up and at a certain moment, the contractions visibly went from pressure to pain. And it was very difficult to go back to relaxing and breathing it away. Also, with it being so intense at 2 minutes interval and the doctor estimated I still needed 8 hours to dilate, I opted for the epidural. I also slept little and was mentally exhausted to manage the contractions.

But the good thing is my body was actually responding to the pill and did not need additional drugs. The baby rejected the Pitocin with heartbeat dipping every time it was given so they switched it off and realised my contractions continued and my dilation was happening fast. So in the end, I didn’t need the second step and baby avoided the Pitocin as much as possible. I was 10 cm opened by 3-4 pm, after 7hrs.

They maintained a low dosage of epidural and lowered it further for the birthing and I started feeling the contractions again. But the birthing was another experience that deviated from the book. The nurses insisted on guided pushing and me holding my breath. I had to sit there negotiating with her and she would tell me to try but it would not work to just breathe down. I had to push instead, but holding my breath was really counter-intuitive and I could not feel I am achieving anything though the nurse assured me the baby was moving. Lila was heavy 3.345kg and had a big head 36cm diameter so even though she was anterior the last phase was tough. Because she seemed to be pressing on my tailbone, between surges, I had a horrible back pain that I needed Gucci to massage while I waited for the next surge to push. It was quite unbearable this ache in the tailbone because of the baby’s weight.

I pushed (though mentally not clench my teeth and relax my vaginal muscles) and had to hold my breath and direct the force down through the abdominal to the vagina as they guided. But still, after an hour, the baby hasn’t crowned.

I was quite exhausted but my baby was not near to crowning. So, in the end, another nurse came in and they helped to push my belly and my gynae came in and I told her to help with a ventouse suction if possible. So we tried three times with this team effort and on the third, she cut and did a bit of vacuum and with the help of the nurses pushing my belly while I pushed, Lila came out. I had a second-degree cut that was stitched but didn’t reach the anus.

Looking back, I was hoping to labour naturally at home and be able to manage contractions without medical equipment strapped to me with my familiar birth ball and labour tools available at home. But having a doctor that supports this is critical and I guess my doctor and her team were not pro-Hypno. I asked to be free from being strapped to the heart rate monitor but at that moment the only mobile heart monitor was in room 15 with Dr Paul Tseng’s patient. And my Doctor insisted on constant observation of the baby’s condition since I am already in active management and medically induced. I have two friends who successfully managed their births with natural labour w Hypnobirthing. And they both had Doulas. I guess if I were to try this again, I would definitely get a doula and go to Dr Lai FM or Dr Paul Tseng who are known to be pro-Hypno. Maybe also for my second birth, my body will be more ready the next time.

Nonetheless, I think the HypnoBirthing and prenatal lessons really helped Gucci and me understand the birthing process so much more and I would not be able to remain calm in this entire birth process without it. Especially in the last few weeks. And being calm with breastfeeding and a crying baby.