Contractions started at 12.30 a.m. while sitting on a fit ball.
Went to bed, it got stronger and stronger. Decided to call the hospital at 3 a.m cause the pain was starting to get unbearable. Midwife on the phone told us to stay home as it's still the early stages - but I was pretty sure I was dilating! She told us to take a couple of Panadol and just wait.
Went to the toilet, there were clots of blood in the toilet bowl, and every time I'm using the toilet, I have contractions- strong ones and that's when the blood clots passed. We called the hospital again, talked to the midwife, she said its normal, still seems like the early stages (WT#!) so she told us to stay home and wait.
It was 5 a.m., contractions were getting more and more frequent. All I could do was 'oohhh and ahhhh' the whole time I was lying on my bed.
At 6 a.m I couldn't take it anymore and called the midwife one last time, and if she keeps saying it's still the early stages, I WILL INSIST on coming in anyway! This time, after the 5th time calling in, she finally let us come in. So we gathered our things and did a last minute repack of our hospital bag. I hopped in the shower for a quick rinse and relief from the contraction pain.
At 7 a.m, off we went to the hospital.
The whole time I was contracting at home, I was also down with the cold flu and eye infection. I also somehow managed to sprain my right hand (and my left too as I'm currently breastfeeding - it's a condition called Carpal Tunnel). It's like everything decided to happen during my last week of pregnancy. Le sigh.
So we reached the hospital at around 7.30a.m., and checked in to the birth suite at Frances Perry House straight away. The room felt a little hostile and it was huge. I think my contraction stopped for a while due to the nervousness and changed of environment. I sometimes wonder would I have a higher chance of a vaginal birth if I continued to go through contractions at home. But all i could think of during that moment was I NEED EPIDURAL NOW!
I asked the nurse immediately, when can I get my epidural and she told me to hold on until my obstetrician is here first then we can discuss drugs. I was so ready to stop the pain. My obs didn't arrive until late morning, so yes I was contracting in the room while waiting for my obs.
My obs came in, assessed me and told me I was dilated 4cm which is a good sign. We then proceeded to break my waters to speed up the process as I've been in pain for almost 9 hours since I first felt my contractions.
Breaking my waters was such a weird feeling, it wasn't painful at all and once she's done I felt a gush of warm liquid underneath me. Apparently my baby pooped in the amniotic sac but baby's heart rate was normal so she wasn't stressed or anything like that. It just meant that at one point she was probably startled and pooped but we don't know when and why.
After that, I asked my obs again when can I have my epidural, she said any time but wait and see how you go first. We want to dilate as much as we can before the epidural comes in as it will slow things down. She told me to walk around the room and stand as much as I can. So I did but only for 2 hours as the pain was really bad and my eye infection has gotten worse, so did my flu. Let's just say it wasn't pretty, at all.
At around 3pm, I decided I want an epidural and I was all hooked up by 4pm. I'm not sure about others, but for me, the epidural didn't really work. I could still feel the contractions - although not that strong but I could still feel the pain , it was just less intense. The anaesthetician had to pump in more dose as I wasn't completely pain free.
Anyway, after the epidural kicked in, I was just lying in bed waiting. There were lots and LOTS of waiting that day. It felt like such a long day. And the entire time, my vision was blurry cause I had to put ointment on my infected eyes (yup both were infected, hooray! )
My obs came in again after dinner to check on my progress- we were really hoping for some good news but to our disappointment, I was only dilated to 5cm. It was then around 7pm. I've been contracting for almost 18 hours. My obs said to give us another 2 hours to see how we progress as I do not want to go for a caesarean if possible. She also gave me another dose of hormones to induce my labour further. If nothing happens, we should call it a day. And that doesn't mean we pack up and go home.
At this point, I didn't know why - but I decided not to press my epidural button to release more drugs in to my body.
Because from that point onwards, I could feel every single contraction and it was SO STRONG I had to squeeze my husband's hand every time and it was happening every 5 - 8 mins or so for 2 hours. That 2 hours, we prayed real hard that every contraction will get us closer to seeing our baby girl.
My obs came back at around 9 pm to check on my progress, because I could feel the strong contraction I was positive I made progress and would have dilated 1 or 2 cm. She checked me again and exchanged looks with the midwife and then back at me. When she said this, my heart dropped - I was still at 5cm. I was so upset and disappointed, I was also really tired from contracting and from the flu and eye infection. She gave us an oral report on what has happened, why it happened and what our options were. Of course, there was only one option left. I wasn't dilating because my pelvic bone and my baby's head just wasn't a good match. Everything was perfect - the baby was in position, her head was facing the right direction but I just couldn't dilate further even with the strong contractions I felt.
After debriefing us on what happened, she said those words I've dreaded to hear.
She said "We will have to go for an emergency caesarean". When she uttered those words, I burst out crying as it wasn't what I had in mind this whole 9 months of pregnancy, I was imagining myself pushing my baby out but I couldn't. Imagine my disappointment, going through all those contractions just to be told I have to go for a caesarean. My obs reassured me that there was nothing further I could have done and we have tried all of our options. She promised that at the end of this, I will have a healthy baby in hand.
Our obs gave us half an hour to ourselves so I can calm down and for the medical team to prep for surgery. At this point, I didn't know what to feel but just accept that I will have to be cut open to deliver our baby girl. My whole 30 years of life, I've never had a surgery done so naturally I was nervous and SO scared of what is going to happen.
There was so many medical staff coming in and out, introducing themselves and explaining to us what they were doing but I was just so zoned out. Before I knew it, I was in the surgery room.