My Successful VBAC Baby girl – Ms.A– Nov 18th 2012 – 1:32 pm@ St Luke’s Global, Manila, Philippines.
My first sign of labor was some discharge and wetness after having taken a bath on Nov 17th at noon.
I was running all the house errands, setting up things at home, pretty excited as I was expecting my parents at our place, the very next day – 18th Nov !! My labor signs made me a little anxious, tense…. at the same time little excited too as my due date was 1 week ahead.
As an instant reaction, I texted my OB, who advised a Non Stress Test (NST) and a check up. I rushed to the hospital – the attending doctor checked the contractions and fetal heart rate for around 40 min and also did IE. She concluded that the cervix was softening and there were regular, moderate to strong contractions, but no dilation as yet. As per our OB orders, we were sent back home around 7 pm to watch out for more signs of labor like painful contractions, bloody show, water break etc for emergency admission.
I called Mrs.Chiqui – my childbirth educator cum Doula to ask how much time generally it would take for the pains or dilation to start after cervix ripening or softening…She said it can happen in hours or days or weeks, also which depends on the body anatomy..so I decided to just calm down & relax but by that time I was already experiencing slight pain in my lower back whenever there was a contraction… Hardly managed to finish off my dinner and with all the stress and tension of that day I decided to just sleep off by 9 pm.
I woke up after a good sleep with fresh mind thinking it would be morning already…I saw the watch and it was just 11 pm …I could feel strong pains/contractions now (painful uterus contractions + strong pain in the lower back between buttocks), but still bearable to my threshold..I started to time the contractions by then…11:15 next, 11:30 pm, 11:45 so on for 30-40 seconds each…I mean it was so perfect that I started wondering – God has given a perfect rhythm to our uterus and the baby inside with a perfect timing too…No deviation!! I kept on thinking that its just started and as Mrs.Chiqui told us, the text book labor generally goes for 12 to 16 hrs…My special thanks to Mrs Chiqui for all her help and imbibing the natural birthing concepts so well – all helped me a lot while labor.
I tried to sleep and not disturb my husband, helper and my first kid, till the pains were unbearable or any emergency condition.. From 4 am or so, the pains had accelerated to a higher level and now there was a 10 min gap for 40-45 sec long contractions – this continued till 6 am..As the sun rose, the pains were getting more severe but I decided to bear them because my mind was so occupied with managing my first kid, parents coming on the same day, and also some sad news heard about my helper’s family at that minute…Still my helper was so supportive and kept giving me strong back massages during contractions, she made me walk from 6 30 am to almost 10 30 am to make my labor go fast(This is the toughest phase without any epidural or medication & is almost an excruciating pain with almost 57-60 sec long contractions initially 5 min apart and later 4 min apart for 1 hr long – (Now I can say that but at that time, I was thinking that this might be only 2-3 cm dilation and probably the active stage has just started..this is what over expectation !!! J))
I would take this opportunity to convey my special thanks to my helper cum nanny in that period, for the immense support and encouragement despite her sad news, without whom I could not have sustained the peak contractions of transition phase – I think that’s where experience counts and she is 52 …..I made my husband sit with my first kid in the drawing room and locked the bedroom with my maid as my kid would get worried looking at me..Finally at 11:00 am, my husband had had enough and he forced me to get out of the house with the labor kit. As luck would have it, we were able to drop our elder kid to our Indian neighbor’s house (special thanks to Subhashini and family too) who took good care of her till my parents reached home.
The moment I reached high risk pregnancy unit OB/gym complex (11:30 am),I was surprised to see my OB there already – turns out she was on her rounds on Sunday! I got pacified seeing her and I was put on continuous fetal monitoring to check the contractions and the fetal heart rate. While the doc doing my IE, I was just praying that I should be at least 4-5 cm dilated. To my shock and to my hubby’s surprise, I was 7 cm dilated and hardly an hr I got dilated to 10 cm ,fully effaced (12:30 noon). The scene was so dramatic, that subconsciously I was hearing the dialogues like “ she is almost fully dilated, fully effaced”, “take her to the delivery room immediately”, “ Pari, r u ok” – my hubby ,” aaaaahhh, contraction..pls massage me” – things were getting decked up so fast in the delivery room – I was just driven into the room and my hubby was told to put on the apron/mask to come to delivery room. This stage/phase made me tense and shivers started in my body not because its the pushing stage but also because there was another risk that had previously been communicated to me.
I have Diastasis Recti – which is loose abdominal muscles. This is a bigger issue for a pregnant mother as it is the abdominal muscles that are required to push the baby. So in addition to a previous scar on the uterus, I had this condition also!
For once I thought I might give up while pushing….. as psychologically, the complication occupied my mind totally…I was sweating as if I just came out of a swimming pool…. Though I was fully effaced and dilated, the baby was still high – after some pushes, my OB broke my waters and with the sudden gush, I could feel the sensation of the muscles to where exactly put the pressure for pushing…Till then I thought I was pushing but actually was not…
Then my hubby came into the delivery room… I was wondering why he took so long to wear his apron? The doc showed him the perineum and probably the baby head too…I was happy that the stage is atleast progressing, my hubby was a great support in that stage – I just decided to push hard, hard n harder as I did not want to give it up at this final stage…after good 5,6 pushes…my docs encouraged me that in the next push they are going to take the baby out which hit me with a lot of happiness and excitement..I just wanted to see the baby that’s it !!! Last push I thought, but the contraction didn’t sustain and I had to relax… I think my OB gave me local anesthesia and I had episiotomy which I dint deny because of the complications I was running….The next push that’s it, baby is on my abdomen…
My first dialogue after the delivery, seeing the baby – “” THANK YOU DOCTOR!! THANK YOU DOCTOR”” – “MY BABY, MY BABY “ saw Vijay’s face expression and just relaxed…….We just thanked GOD for successful VBAC , healthy baby without any complications… I just thought to myself- “I HAVE DONE IT”!!! As if that’s my lifetime achievement and I am destined to give birth in the Philippines travelling all the way from India while pregnant…I could say that ‘Childbirth is more fun in the Philippines’ 😉
Finally, in a cinematic way , we just received another angel into our lives. By the time my parents reached the hospital from the airport, the baby was here! They came into the OB/Gyne reception and my hubby showed them the baby! They were in a shock state, more than happy and could hardly speak seeing the baby. But I want to take this opportunity again to tell them that though they were not present at that point of time, their virtual presence had been felt by me every minute while labor and my mom’s prayers especially made me surpass all the hurdles without any complications….Thanks Mom n Dad !!!