When the doctor gave us Sophia’s due as 8th November, I was wondering if she could make it to 11.11.11 instead. I know it’s overdue but I was secretly hoping she would make it to that date. I read up on overdue pregnancies as much as possible just to know that there is no real harm in it and how naturally it occurs in majority of pregnancies.
When on November 10th I noticed reduced fetal movements, I told Mohen that we should go and check it out because Sophia has always been super active ever since I felt the first flutter. Sure enough the doctor said I had to be admitted and induced as soon as possible as the decrease in fetal movement is noticeable.
I didn’t panic but was getting very nervous because to be honest, whether or not I make it to 11.11.11 is not important anymore. I just want to make sure she is out and safe.
This time around, it was quite trying for me and Mohen because due to short of bed availability, I had to be transferred and referred to another hospital other than the one we chose to deliver in. We had to wait for almost 2 hours before any confirmation is given to us as to which hospital we can go to to have our baby. I was close to tears not because I was in pain, but because I didn’t want Sophia to be born under desperate or emergency situations.
We finally got admitted to the next available hospital at 5pm, 10th November.
The doctors went through all the necessary check ups again and sent me right up to the maternity ward. Sophia was put on CTG every other hour to monitor her heartbeat since it’s hard to track her movements. I know she is fine but I can’t help but feel the doctor is going to deliver me that night.
Finally one of the nurses said the doctor will induce labor on me the next morning for her heartbeat is doing fine and they can still detect normal fetal movement albeit reduced, but not dire enough to cause for an emergency labor. I don’t think I’ve slept as well as I did that night after she told me that. So maybe after all we can get that 11.11.11.
First thing next morning the doctor induced me with prostaglandin at 8.15am. I had to be monitored for cervix dilation every 6 hours. It will introduce contractions and softens the cervix.
The only thing that I should probably tell you is that I have no idea how contractions feels. Having a planned cesarean for the first delivery and being 2 weeks early from my due date, I had no experience in the real contractions. Sure those Braxton-Hicks dropped by every other day but that was nothing compared to the real contractions, I heard.
So I was very apprehensive about how should I feel. At 2pm, after lunch, that tell-tale abdomen cramps came. It started at the lower part of my abdomen, just right below the belly button. But I could still sit up and walk around. I noted the time and soon came to notice that those cramps were 10minutes apart.
Still I gritted my teeth and waited for the pain to come because if this is bearable, it shouldn’t be the real ones since the labor contractions will make me feel like putting my fist through a wall.
2.30pm the doctor came to check my cervix. Now, I’m quite all right with doctors putting things into my vagina for I’m not that squeamish about it but I don’t know if it was because I was already in pain or because this doctor is rough but when his fingers touched my cervix, I actually let out a scream. My buttocks were lifted off the bed and my fingers clenched.
Then what was waiting for me dawned on me almost cruelly.
As the day progressed, the contractions were getting more intense and soon by 7pm I was having 2 contractions every five minutes. Previously, I asked my mother what contractions feel like and she said she could not describe it because it had to be felt to be understood.
She cannot be more right.
As much as I would like to think that I am good with words, I can’t describe it here how contractions feel. I can’t put it words and I have been thinking and rewriting the sentence for almost 8 times before I realized I can’t put it into words.
But I can tell you how I was.
I started crying for I can’t believe how painful it was. I didn’t even realized that I managed to doze off to sleep in between contractions for when it comes, it drained so much of my energy. It was like I’ve been woken up with a hard kick when the next contraction hit. I woke up moaning and tossing and curling into a ball over the pain.
I called Mohen when the doctor said it’s about time he was with me. He had to go to work because earlier on, the doctor said if I didn’t dilate any further, they will insert another dose of prostaglandin the next day. My second VE (vagina effacement) check was at 6.20pm and I was only at 1cm but the pain was already getting unbearable. I could barely speak on the phone when I asked Mohen to come.
I think I managed to breathe out 4 words to him – doctor, you, come, now. The next thing I know Mohen was right with me. Now, the hospital and his office is about 50 minutes away (it was that far we got to be transferred due to beds availability) and the speed in which he arrived at the hospital made me shudder now to think about how fast he must’ve drove to get to me.
To be honest, the next few hours seem to be a blur to me.
I remember few nurses came and went, checking here, probing there. I heard voices telling me to be patient, fingers being inserted inside my vagina, needles into my vein and yet nothing made sense. All I wanted was the pain to be over. As much as I wanted a normal delivery (refer post Try Next Exit), I finally begin to realize that I might not be strong enough to endure the pain.
I think at 11pm the nurses finally told me that they are going to bring me to the labor room because I have dilated about 5cm. Even so I think I remembered one of them said that they have to wait for me to dilate more before I can really go for the big push. I swore to God that had it not been for Mohen holding my hands, I would’ve reached over and gave her a slap. I don’t know why they would want me to wait longer when the doctor specifically told me earlier this morning during my VE check that they would’ve to operate me if I was in excruciating pain. Well, I think I was in excruciating pain at that time, thank you very much.
I kept asking the doctor to just operate me because I really truly couldn’t take the pain anymore. He said something about doing some assessment and some other nonsense I can’t make out. Then I heard he said he was going to rupture my waterbag. To be honest I couldn’t care less if he said he was going to cut off my leg because I thought my stomach was going to explode in pain and my previous cesarean cut was pulsating with extreme pain that I thought it might just tear open and let my guts out.
When the warm feeling of amniotic liquid flowed after my waterbag was ruptured, I felt this sudden need to push. Like my stomach was contracting on its own without me having to do anything. I lifted my head and gave one of the hardest thrusts in my life. I think I could’ve broken one of Mohen’s fingers had I not let go after a few seconds. It was amazing because every part of my lower body hurt except my vagina. I felt it opened as wide as a tunnel but it did not hurt. I don’t even know how was it possible but my stomach, my arms, my legs felt like they were ran over by a truck.
The doctor was telling me not to push because he didn’t want me to tear anything before I was ready but I kept telling him that it wasn’t as if I purposely push the baby out. It was my body telling me to. I think I gave about 6 pushes altogether before the doctor finally said he was going to go for an emergency cesarean.
At this point, as much I felt relieved because I know I will not feel the contractions anymore, I felt extremely disappointed in myself. Like I have failed as a woman to endure birthing pain. I went through 9 months of mental and physical preparation for a vaginal birth only to give up at the end. I can’t believe how weak I was and I can’t believe that I would give up. When they wheeled me to the operation room, they might’ve mistaken my slightly calm demeanor due to me knowing that I will be operated and not because of how disappointed and embarrassed I was.
I know that I could’ve probably given normal birth if I wait for another dose of prostaglandin and for my cervix to dilate further but still, I can’t be sure. I could still not dilate, I could still be in extreme pain for more hours and then still be operated for emergency cesarean.
It’s just that I can’t help but feel that I should’ve held on longer.
Sophia came out perfect and fine. She weighed 2.765kg. I looked at her now and feel that whatever pain that I went through was worth it. Just sometimes I feel that I should’ve fought for her more.
The doctor told us that because I already went through 2 cesarean, we would’ve to wait at least 5 years before having our next child. And if we do plan to have another one, I would’ve to go through cesarean again.
To be honest, it’s not that I don’t like the prospect of another child. I don’t think I’ve recovered enough from the disappointment I put myself through to even consider conceiving again. It would be great to feel pregnant again. But I know when I’m about to deliver that next one, I would remember how I felt with Sophia and I don’t think I can forgive myself for failing myself that way.
Still, it’s something too early to think about. I might change how I feel and become stronger and have all this behind me but I can’t be sure.
The only thing I’m sure now is that Sophia is healthy and I will have a great time seeing her grow and turn into a lady and woman herself.