My Story of Natural Childbirth With Epidural (Of course!)

August 29, 2018

My story of natural childbirth

Author: Kitty Lo, Mayarya Mom. You can take a look for more of  her writing here.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably going into labor soon or you’re just downright curious. I will not skip the gory details so if you dare, do read on! Actually, i felt like it was not as gory and scary as I anticipated.

So, it was Christmas Eve and we had a simple family dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. I remember that it was gloomy and raining when we were driving back home. When we reached home, I retreated to bed because carrying an extra 25-pounds does tire you out. I was scheduled for an induction on boxing day because my baby has to be taken out on the estimated due date even if he doesn’t want to come into this world just yet as I had gestational diabetes. Me, out of all people when I had been eating healthy, working out but what the heck, that is a story for another day.

I was reading up on failed inductions because I have been told that it does happen and if it does, there is a possibility that I had to do the Caesarean delivery to take my baby out. I was so ready to push and do it the natural way that I was praying and hoping that my baby would come out just before boxing day(26/12/17). I was watching this video of vlogger documenting her whole induced labour & delivery and getting stressed out about mine, texting mum and close friends that I was going to do c-section and getting upset about it.

In that exact instance, i felt a gush of liquid coming from down below but i was in a lying down position so it was more of a trickle…… i stood up and went to the bathroom to check it out. When I sat on the toilet bowl, the liquid wouldn’t stop rushing out…. so i had this thought in my head like, OMG, I can’t believe this is happening and I screamed from the toilet… “I think my water broke!” and Kyle, (my husband) replied… “Are you sure? Should you check with your mum?” I replied… “I’m pretty sure my water broke hun”, he was on the phone at the time, hung up and quickly ran towards me.

I think he started to have this moment of panic. You know how you feel so ready for something and yet, when it happens, you are absolutely NOT ready. My husband’s hospital bag was NOT packed, we did not have any CASH, somehow, i misplaced my wallet…. it was a big hoo-ha moment until we gathered ourselves for the drive to the hospital. I remember shaking, I was standing up but my legs felt like jelly. I was feeling all sorts of emotions; scared, happy, excited, panic, you name it. At this point, I did not feel any pain at all and I kept asking my mum, “When is the pain going to start?”, “Is this normal?”, and “What is happening?”

When I got to the hospital (A&E), I was dramatically wheeled into the labour room. And, this part, NO ONE TOLD ME and I’VE NEVER READ ABOUT IT ANYWHERE! I did not know how much it was going to hurt when the midwives or the obstetrician checked me to see how much I have dilated. I swear, their fingers had entered regions of my down below that no man has entered before. It was SOOOOO deep!! I think this was more painful than the delivery itself, i kid you not. When the midwife checked me, I was only 2cm dilated (you had to be 10cm to be able to start pushing). So, they told me this was going to take a while as I was not having contractions just yet…. They hooked me up to a machine and I was having contractions but very far apart – about 14 minutes in between and I honestly did not feel the contractions just yet.

I was then checked into my hospital room and changed into a pink hospital outfit (it was pretty cute), there was also a bed for my husband so we slept soundly throughout the night. The nurses came in twice during the night to check on my contractions and blood pressure. I had such a good sleep.  Things started to get interesting at around 7am…. I started feeling a bit more pain but it was still manageable, I can only describe it as a menstrual cramp like feeling and informed the nurses. They said that the doctor should be here by 8am. He came in at around 8.30am and checked me AGAIN to see how much I have dilated. THIS, I SWEAR WAS THE WORST! I hate it so much. I was only 3cm dilated, after a full 8 hours sleep.

My doctor said that I was to be induced at 9am in the labor room. In my childbirth plan, I mentioned that I wanted epidural as my main choice of painkiller and I wanted it quickly. (This was the best & smartest thing I did)  It was in my medical notes and my midwives asked me if i wanted epidural the night before but i was not feeling any pain at the time. So I opted out. When I was in the labor room, they started attaching a drip into my veins to start off my labour and the doctor did a quick check before he carried on with his daily work schedule as I had a while to go. He said that it should take another 4-6 hours or so for the real work(pushing) to start if all goes well. He advised me to use the epidural now if that was what I  really wanted. Mind you, if you are dilated 7-8cm and if you wanted the epidural then, it will no longer be an option and you will just have to bear with the intense pain. I was feeling moderate, regular pains in my lower abdomen when he asked and I immediately said YES! Perfect timing! They rang the anaesthetist up to the labour room.

At 9.30am, I was feeling a considerable amount of pain at closer intervals and Kyle could see everything as I was hooked onto the machine and you can see a peak and trough whenever there was a contraction. He was very intelligent in a sense that he quickly learnt how to read the machine and the discomfort on my face. Luckily, the anaesthetists came in just in time to save the day. The use of epidural, especially the process of injecting it into my system was a dangerous procedure that could cause spinal puncture and leads to paralysis, headaches, numbness among other life-threatening risks. I was briefed for about 15 minutes before I was made to sign a waiver form that will release the hospital and the doctor of all liabilities if anything goes wrong. The epidural, is a HUGE ass injection that goes right into the spinal cord and the tricky part is that, when it gets injected into your system, you CANNOT move at ALL. Otherwise, you will be at risk of all of the above.

I was worried about that as I was extremely scared of needles. But, I was feeling an 8 out of 10 pain intensity at this point, I needed the epidural to take me through the next couple of hours, or so I thought. When he injected the epidural, Kyle was kneeling in front of me, comforting me, telling me to look at him and not to move. He was my rock, literally. The anaesthetist used the lowest minimum possibly effective dose so as to ease the pain but not to totally eliminate the pain.  If we used a higher dose, I would feel too numb to push when I am fully dilated. I was told that the medicine kicked in at around 20 minutes. I remember looking at the clock and did a mini countdown in my head. Finally, the epidural kicked in and helped eased the pain effectively. I could still feel pain but it was manageable.

At around 1015am, the most intense,agonising cramps that I’ve ever felt started at a regular 4 minutes apart and I had tears in my eyes. My husband was with me the whole way, we were breathing together throughout and he adjusted my breathing techniques that I learnt from pre-natal yoga classes (Ujjaiyi breath) according to my contractions. Breathe IN 3 seconds, Breathe OUT 6 seconds – OMG, it did wonders! It really helped calmed me. The cramps started to feel like intense, diarrhoea, “i-need-to-poop” kind of pain so I excused myself to use the loo and tried to poop and pee. I did let it out but nothing was helping the pain go away. I asked the midwives if I could increase the epidural or if could i push now. Then, the midwives checked my cervix at around 1030am and I was dilated at 7-8cm. So, it was time for them to call the doctor to come up to the labour room. It was nearly showtime. EEK!

My husband unintentionally became the best labour coach anyone could have asked for. He filmed himself saying to our little baby, “Little Keyon, look at how much your mum is suffering because of you”, and I literally had tears in my eyes. My husband said to me, “Babe, we don’t need to have many kids if you are going to suffer like this.” I could not reply, I just smiled. He is just the sweetest, sweetest person who loves me so damn much, how did I get so lucky.

While waiting for the doctor to come up, the midwives continued to monitor the fetal’s heart rate and my contractions. One of the midwives pressed my lower abdomen and asked if i needed to pee AGAIN, i felt the urge but nothing was coming out. OK, this was the second MOST painful thing that happened to me during delivery. They had to use this tube to take my pee out and insert it through my pee-pee hole. I think…. I could not see what they were doing but it hurt!! AND it hurt even, after delivery for another week or so. They thought that i could not feel much because of the epidural but I could feel EVERYTHING!

FINALLY, the doctor arrived and I said i really needed to push because the pain now, was unbearable and he checked my cervix(again) and yes, I was finally a 10! Good to go! They brought in this HUGE bright LIGHT to shine down on my down below and told me to spread my legs widely. They propped my bed up and they had these foot pedals I can step on to lift my butt even higher. I was shaking so much because I couldn’t believe it was happening. After 9 months of waiting to meet my baby. After a whole night of anticipating in my hospital room and the longest 2 hours of my life, breathing through my contractions with tears streaming down my face. As i put my feet up the pedestal, my thighs could not spread apart as I was shaking so badly. I was asking kyle, “What’s wrong with my legs? I’m shaking soooo much”, he reassured me and told me he would be there for me throughout the whole way.

At 10.55am, everything was in place, everyone was ready. The doctor told me to push when I felt the contractions. Honestly, I did not know what “PUSH” meant, I thought I was pushing but the doctor said my face was doing all the pushing. It was pretty funny at the moment. I can’t imagine the face that I was making. He instructed me to use my core and push DOWN but i still did not get it. I was being so thick…… Then, he inserted 2 fingers into my down below and said, “TRY TO PUSH MY FINGERS OUT”, I did and it was working! I kept using the same muscles and I was initially afraid to poop but at this point, I just did not care. After working through 10 minutes or so, the doctor said he could see the baby’s head coming through the birth canal and I just needed one last push. He asked me if he could cut me open a little bit down below as he could already see the head. I gave him my go ahead and trusted him. After a couple of seconds, I felt this pooping sensation as I pushed. I honestly thought I’ve embarrassingly pooped… But i heard crying sounds in that same instance and it was the most beautiful sound I’ve heard.

My baby was out! They handed him to me right away. He came out at exactly 11.14am. When I held him in my arms,  I did not feel any more pain, even as they were stitching me up.  All I felt was love, a kind of surreal, unconditional love that you never knew existed. He was crying as I was holding him. I had tears in my eyes so did my husband. It was such an emotional moment and perhaps, the most emotional one of my life. Kyle kept saying “Babe, you did it. You did such a good job.”, it was really nice of him to be so encouraging and I said, “No, we did it! Thank you for being here with me.”

The entire birthing process was such a positive experience for me, for us. My baby got cleaned up and the midwives passed him back to me. He was so tiny, yet so precious. It was such a perfect moment and to this day, I still can’t believe he came into our lives. After going through this hand in hand with my husband, my love and respect for him grew even stronger. We are so blessed to be parents of little Keyon who has already brought so much joy to us.

I am so excited to share more stories, tips and advice on pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. I know this is a really long post but I hope you enjoyed it! If you’re going through childbirth soon, I wish that you have a smooth delivery. Stay calm and be positive!

The entire birthing process was such a positive experience for me, for us. My baby got cleaned up and the midwives passed him back to me. He was so tiny, yet so precious. It was such a perfect moment and to this day, I still can’t believe he came into our lives. After going through this hand in hand with my husband, my love and respect for him grew even stronger. We are so blessed to be parents of little Keyon who has already brought so much joy to us.

I am so excited to share more stories, tips and advice on pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. I know this is a really long post but I hope you enjoyed it! If you’re going through childbirth soon, I wish that you have a smooth delivery. Stay calm and be positive!



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YOUR GUIDE TO FINDING THE RIGHT SIZE FOR YOUR CHANGING SHAPE

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