The Birth (Round 2)
|September 18, 2011||Posted by Mabel under Just Noah, Welcoming Baby|
Our second bundle of joy, Noah, decided to enter our lives ahead of schedule on 11 September at 1200 (GMT +1) in his own way and here’s the story…
His journey started on Monday, 5 September afternoon when I started to get some brownish, thick (glue like) discharge. I didn’t think much about it at the time as it was on and off plus there was no pain and Noah was his usual active self. It was perhaps because of the stress from the move, unpacking and all. I figured some rest from all that would do me some good. So for the next four days or so, I rested as much as I could – naps, and so forth. I still had to do the usual like grocery shopping and entertain Eva. I talked to Noah as much as I could to try and get him to reverse whatever that was happening.
Yes, the discharge wasn’t going away despite me monitoring it for over a week – it was still an on and off thing though. We could have gone to see the doctor but with Nil’s work schedule plus the fact that insurance and all were not settled, we were, I guess, caught up with the entire move and simply assumed that it was just one of those things that some pregnant women got. Deep down inside, I had a nagging feeling that something was definitely going to happen so we decided to go to the hospital on Monday (12 September) and in the meantime, just monitor things over the weekend.
Then it happened.
On Sunday (11 September) around 3am, I woke up to frequent contractions and a tingling sensation coupled with pain along my tailbone. I remember this feeling as I got it when I was in labour with Eva. It wasn’t good, I told Nil. He was already half awake from me going to the toilet, shifting around trying to get comfortable and etc. So we got up and out of bed, and scrambled around for the hospital’s emergency number. Yes, it was that bad. We had no fixed line, no Internet, no nothing except a mobile phone. Luckily I made a trip to the Tourism Office a few days earlier to get a road map and had just remembered that I saw some phone numbers listed on the map. So we took a look and realized that we had the hospital phone number all this while!!!!!
So we called and just as Nil was asking them if I should come…well, I remember going to the toilet and then a few seconds later, telling him that I was bleeding. So in we went…and without Eva – who was fast asleep in her bed. Bad idea, I know, but I didn’t want to wake her up and then drag her to the maternity ward.
At the hospital, they hook me up and as it turns out, I was already in labour, my cervix was starting to dilate but heyho, Noah isn’t full term so the hospital staff decided to transfer me over to Besançon as they are not equipped to take on premies younger than 34 weeks. I wasn’t very happy to hear that, granted that we were totally not prepared – no “labour bag” (you know, that bag you prepare with all the stuff you need at the hospital like clothes, nursing bras, etc), and all my breastfeeding related stuff like nursing bras, breast pump, bottles and all were still stuck in Marseille. The fact that my resident permit was still in the works meant that I wasn’t even sure if insurance would cover the cost for the delivery. Crapcrapcrapcrap, I told myself over and over again.
Also, I “conveniently” forgot my medical records from Singapore so Nil had to make a trip back to get them and then another one to pick Eva up (poor girl had to wake up, get dressed, etc), pack my things and so forth. The nurses warned him that while they will try to stop the labour, it doesn’t look like Noah wants to stay inside any more as I was still getting frequent contractions and strong ones too despite being given the shot to stop contractions. I got a jab in the bum to help develop Noah’s immature lungs and then waited for the transfer trip.
Upon arrival at the hospital in Besançon, they hooked me up and monitored me. The midwives noticed that Noah was having a ball of a time, kicking and moving around despite the contractions and came to the conclusion that he was excited about being out now. By 9am or so, I was about 4cm dilated and it looked like I would be delivering him within the next two hours or so. Nil was nowhere in sight as the ambulance left the hospital with me first (he had to make the 40 minute trip with Eva). I was essentially alone with my crappy French but luckily for me, the midwives and doctors were very friendly and nice. I kept telling myself over and over again that I’ve been through this whole “duck-chicken communication thing”, it’s not a big deal, it’s nothing bad…just Noah wanting to come out now now. They kept reassuring me that 32 weeks is still alright and that he’ll be fine. I guess they could sense that deep down inside, I was worried but was trying to stay calm – one excited bub is enough, they don’t need a hysterical woman on their hands.
Anyway, they hooked me up to the epidural (I did try the whole “it’s okay to feel pain” mantra, listen to some Christian music – did I mention that all I had was a phone and that I didn’t even bring my wallet or passport? – and breathing exercises from my first delivery two years ago) and I waited…
Oh, can I say that I LOVE the epidural? Kekekeke. Seriously. Of course the setup isn’t fun but afterwards, the pain is less and at least I could breath without hyperventilating or crying. One of the reasons why they suggested the epidural was because of my previous heart condition. They were afraid that I wouldn’t be able to take the pain WITHOUT any painkillers.
By 11am, I was already 7-8 cm dilated and there was a slight tear with the water bag. I was trickling – at least it felt like my water bag tore – so they decided to help things along by busting it. From then on, it was ultra speedy. The epidural suddenly stopped working, or perhaps the pain was just too great, or maybe I refuse to press that little thing they passed to me (to deliver another dose of the epidural). Before I knew it, I was being asked to pushed, the gynae was there inserting spatulas to help protect Noah’s head and suddenly he was crowning!
After three pushes, it was done (seriously, I can understand why women scream during labour – it’s so hard NOT to!!!!! I tried being silent but with a gynae, an intern, and three midwives encouraging me to push…talk about intense pressure, man!) – I got to see Noah who is all small and scrawny (but he still manage to let out a few cries!). Nil followed him out to get bundled up (as it turns out, my hubby had to lie down on the floor because he was going to pass out!!!!!!!) while they decided to work on getting the placenta out. Now this part is utterly awful – my placenta refused to come out, even after massaging my uterus, pressing down on it like there was no tomorrow (the midwife even jabbed the epidural for me coz she knew that whatever that was coming was going to be ULTRA painful) and waiting for nearly 30 minutes so the guy had to search around my womb for it. I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to how he did it but lets just say that it’s like giving birth all over again. (When he finally found it and took it out, it was like he was ripping something from my insides!!!!) ARGH! Needless to say, I was glad glad glad when he said that it was out!
I got to cuddle Noah again before they send him up to the neonatal intensive care unit and spend the next two hours or so waiting for the epidural to wear off. That evening, I went with Nil to check out where they had housed Noah for now and after that, Nil went home with my mother-in-law who had made an emergency trip over to help watch after Eva while all this was going on. Me? I stayed in the hospital for the next four days and spent every three hours in front of the breast pump, pumping out milk for Noah.
When I look back, it’s amazing how different my two birth experiences were. With Eva, it was full-term, slow and well, ended up with a c-sec. With Noah, it was pre-term, utterly quick and VBAC to boot. The joke between Nil and myself is that if we have number three, it should be perfect…