Joanne’s Heart

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14


An Life-Giving Experience

posted by Joanne

It has been a month since Victoria (Vicky in short) was born.  I choose that name because Vince mention that if we get a boy, he wants to name him Joseph; so I thought if boy his name starts with “J”, then if girl her name should start with “V”.

Life has not been the same since she was born and I know that it will never be the same from then on.  Night feedings, diaper changing, lack of sleep, more responsibilities and logistics yet being a mother is fulfilling.

We were supposed to watch Transfomers 2 : Revenge of the Fallen on the morning of 22 June 09, however our precious daughter has something else in mind.  She decided to come into this world.  It started with bloody show at 1am.  Vince and I then deliberated if we should go to the hospital as I read in some books that some women has bloody show days before labor actually starts.  We tried to go to sleep but couldn’t and by 2.45am, we were at the hospital.

My water bag broke at 3am and were checked by the doctor at 3.10am, I was strapped to some device that monitors contraction.  The doctor said my contractions were pretty strong, yet I didn’t feel any pain.  At that time I was dilated 1cm and the doctor applied some cream to help me dilated faster and then she said I am dilated 2cm.  She went on to explain that for first delivery, the dilation is usually 1cm per hour and so I was admitted (there goes Transformers 2).  They will check me after 4 hours to see the progress of the dilation.  Vince left the hospital after making sure that I had settle down; poor thing he wanted to stay but I was on the shared ward so no one was allowed to stay over.

I hardly slept that night, being in a foreign environment and babies crying occasionally and by 7am they were serving breakfast and changing the sheets.  The doctor checked me at 7.30am and said I am at 3cm and that they will move me to the 1st stage ward where I will be monitored.  Husbands are not allowed to be there only at the labor room and only after I am dilated 7cm that they will transfer me there.  Vince came at 8am to check on me and I told him that since he can’t be with me, he might as well go home to get more rest or watch Transformers 2.

At the 1st stage ward, a procedure called enema was done to empty my bowel after which I was strapped to the same device that monitors my contractions and this time a second device that monitors my baby’s heart beat.  On my left hand, they then put on drips and induce me to hasten the dilation and on my right was the blood pressure thingy that will automatically take my pressure at intervals.  After settling down, I tried to get some sleep listening to worship music but I didn’t get any sleep.  A doctor came to look at my records and ask if I want epidural, I said no as I didn’t have much pain then.  The pain started at about 11.30am, it was pretty intense.  I endured it until 12noon and told myself if I am near to delivering the baby then I will not take epidural.  When the doctor checked, I was still 3cm and I told her immediately I want epidural.  I had no choice, I don’t know how long it will take me to be fully dilated and by then I had not slept for more than 24 hours.  So I had to take it to get some rest if not I won’t have any energy to push!

The anesthetist only came at about 12.30pm to administer the epidural.  Then the pain was gone and I was able to sleep.  Slowly by surely while asleep, I felt the pain returning.  The nurse told me if you can feel pain means you are dilating and she checked, I was dilated to 7cm (thank God).  It was 2.45pm and she said they will wheel me to the labor room.  At last!  Vince is able to be with me.  All this while we were communicating via handphone.

At 6pm still 7cm, feel like forever and the contractions are getting more and more intensed and closer together.  The epidural finished and we requested for another dose but it didn’t work anymore.  They mention that as the labor progresses nearer to delivery, the epidural will not have any effect.  So just have to endure the contraction pain.  On the wall was the metre that shows the fetal heart beat and also the treashold of the contraction pain and when Vince see the number going up, he knows I am in pain.

They checked me at 8pm and I am about 9cm dilated, they mention that full dilation is 10cm but if I feel the urge to push to let them know.  I was getting frustrated by the slow dilation and not really sure if I really felt the urge to push when the contraction came because this time when I the contraction came, I would feel the urge but not at the next contraction.  Well, I am not sure what time it was but I felt I couldn’t take it any longer and want to try to push.  So the doctors came in to deliver Vicky and we had trainees (delivered her at HUKM) in the labor room watching the birth of my child.  Vince was a good coach, it helps that husbands or a loved one being allowed in the labor room.

By then, I was extremely tired, having only a couple of hours of sleep and enduring the pain, I tried to push and push yet I failed to push her out.  I was suppose to take deep breaths and push but I felt I couldn’t take in deep enough breath to push like my lungs capacity to take in oxygen has dropped.  In the end, they had to help deliver her via vacuum.  So Vicky was born at 9:03pm and she weighed 3.13kg.  The doctors placed her on my tummy immediately after she was born as they went on to cut her umbilical cord and I heard one of the doctors say, “eh, she is not crying” then took her away to check on her.  I felt like it was my fault and could only pray that she will be alright.  Was on the verge of crying and Vince kept saying God will take care of her.  We didn’t really hear her cry but she was breathing.  Vince was asked to wait outside while they finish the procedures.

After they cleaned her, they placed her beside my bed while they help deliver my placenta and stitch me up.  Goodness the stitching felt like forever, the doctor was doing the stitching while two trainees stood and watch.  She jab me with anethastic before stitching but halfway thru it wear off and I could feel the needle and thread.  Couldn’t wait for it to be over.  Tried to take my mind away by looking at Vicky and they took so long that Vince came in to check if all was ok and was asked to wait outside again.  Poor daddy.

After all the ordeal, we were back at the ward at 11.30pm as the doctors wanted to observe Vicky because she was a bit pale.  It was indeed an experience that test women’s strength and endurance.  An experience which men will never get to experience; bringing forth life into this world, a miracle by itself and gift from God.

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