What a beautiful start to 2017 it has been. My dear boy, Alistair Jianlei Yong, has been born.
Due to the history of my stillbirth with Alexa, my doctor and I had already agreed that we would induce delivery for this pregnancy, just like how we did for Amy. So throughout my pregnancy with Alistair, I knew that I would be delivering at my 38th week.
The weeks building up to the induction were a little bit stressful and tense for me. While I was less fearful compared to when I was pregnant with Amy, I was still unable to totally let my guard down. The tiny question of whether I would be able to bring my third baby home still nagged at me.
Also, this time round, I found myself a little bit more apprehensive about the whole process of labour and delivery. Perhaps it is because I already knew what to expect – the pain, the needles, the stitches, the NOT pushing and then the pushing…
Well. I did find that the entire experience this time round was a little more difficult and traumatising. Let’s start from the beginning.
Just as the clock struck midnight on January 10, 2017, I was admitted to the labour ward for my induced delivery. At this point, my dilation was already 2-3 cm, so I was quite hopeful for a quick labour! The nurse said I could start the induction at any time, but weirdly, I was a bit hesitant. I guess it was because I knew that once the process was started, there was no turning back or pausing, and the pain will begin!
But anyhow, I knew it was all inevitable, and another part of me really wanted to have baby Alistair out in my arms as soon as possible too. So at 2.45am, we started the induction by inserting half of the tablet (don’t know what it’s called) to soften my cervix.
As only half was inserted, as opposed to one full tablet during Amy’s time, I found that the process progressed a little slower. My contractions started becoming regular, and started to build up at 4am, but they were still very bearable. I could even sleep a little here and there until 6am.
At 6, the nurse came in to check on my dilation again, and she said the words that totally demotivated me.
“It’s still the same.”
What?! By then, my contractions were starting to be very painful and they were very regular, coming in at every 2 minutes.
So, even though my dilation was still 2-3cm, but because my contractions were so regular and so intense, the nurse decided that it was time to prepare me for delivery. They had to insert the “line” for IV drip (just in case of emergency) in my wrist, which was one of the things I dreaded because I really really really hate needles.
And then, my worst nightmare happened.
The needle went in, but couldn’t be totally pushed in. The nurse said it was a short vein, whatever that meant. So she had to take it out and look for another vein. She got another nurse in to help, and they found another vein. Again the “line” went in, and by then I already wanted to faint because I could feel everything and I really really really hate needles.
They told me my vein was a little small, so they would be inserting some fluid to wash out the vein a little bit. A few seconds later, they said, the vein seemed to be too small because the fluid was not going in. So they had to take it all out again and look for another vein!!!
I was in distress by this time. Not only were my contractions kinda killing me, but the entire needle experience was really making me upset.
They finally found a cooperative vein on my right hand, and the “line” was finally settled in. But then when the nurse checked the monitor (we were monitoring the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions all this while), she said there was an episode where my baby’s heartbeat dipped. So she had to connect me to the oxygen mask and drip me up for hydration, to ensure that baby could get all the oxygen and hydration he needed.
Listening to that made my heart fall. My husband and I were suddenly quite anxious. Will Alistair be OK??
The nurse told me that it could be due to various reasons. It could be head compression, cord tangled around the neck… Or it could be just that I was anxious or stressed and it affected the baby. So I had to not be anxious or stressed.
Listening to that made me even more anxious and stressed.
The nurse gave my doctor a call to give her the update, while I continued to lie down on the delivery bed, battling my contractions and trying very hard to stay calm and relaxed.
At about 7.20am, my doctor walked into the room and told me everything was fine. Immediately, I felt assured. I asked her about the baby’s heartbeat dipping, but she said it was OK since it was only one episode and since then baby’s heartbeat was more than fine.
My contractions were still coming in at every 2 minutes and the pain was really intense by now. My dilation was almost 5cm, so my doctor gave it a little stretch to help things move along faster, but it was oh-so-painful!
She seemed very happy with my progress and said my delivery will be a quick one. I asked her, how quick?? She said, I would probably deliver at about 9.
I looked at the clock and my heart sank. 9?! But it was only 7.30am then, and my contractions were already getting unbearable!
At 8am, I finally asked for the painkiller injection (that I took both during Alexa’s and Amy’s delivery). I also told my husband to keep time, because I was extremely sure that after the jab, I would give birth within an hour, just like my previous deliveries.
Sure enough, within that one hour my contractions shot up and I began to have the crazy urge to push. The nurse said I was 8cm, and I was like, nooooo… I really wanted to push. So she helped stretch me as well (though I really didn’t know how), and then called for my doctor to come in.
Within minutes, my doctor appeared and told me I could push when I next feel the urge to. Those were the sweetest command I heard all night!
So I pushed! And pushed and pushed with all my might. But then, after a few pushes, when I could feel baby crowning, my doctor told me to hold it and stop pushing. I could feel my pelvic bones opening and baby’s head coming out halfway and the pain was crazy and my whole body was dying to push and I had to HOLD.
The NOT pushing is always the hardest in delivery. Not the contractions. Not the pushing. It’s the NOT pushing.
And I had to do it three times! Push push push… OK hold… Push push push, OK hold…
I later asked my doctor, why did I have to hold? She told me it was to let the baby’s head ease out on his own, to prevent me from tearing too much.
Anyway, even though it felt like eternity to me, the pushing only took a few minutes because by 9.14am, my handsome boy Alistair was placed in my arms.
While stitching me up, my doctor kept telling me that my delivery was really fast. She said I could have another four children.
I looked at her and went like, “Are you crazy? I need time to forget this whole painful experience first.”
She laughed and said, “Yours was really fast. Oh you blessed woman of God.”
I am blessed. Thank You God for another bundle of joy. Until now, I still can’t believe that I have been given another child. My little Alistair.
His name, by the way, is a Scottish variant of Alexander, which holds the same meaning as Alexa – defender of man.
Thank you everybody for your support and prayers for me and with me throughout this pregnancy. I truly do not take for granted that I have so many of you cheering me and my family on. 🙂 We are very very blessed.