Giving Birth

by - May 01, 2024

Baby Pham was induced a day before his due date because he gave us all a scare with decreased fetal movement and a sporadic heart rate. He was meant to be induced a day earlier after my check-in with a midwife spiralled into a trip to the hospital and nearly having an emergency c-section. The c-section was called off literally at the last minute because Baby's heart rate stabilised and I was meant to be induced that day but the Birth Centre was too busy to take me.

Instead, I spent a restless night in the maternity ward listening to new mums with their newborns, while I was hooked up for two additional CTG rounds to make sure Baby's heart rate remained normal. The next morning, I was moved from the maternity ward to the birth suite with the midwife and a student doctor.

The midwife was the same one we saw the day before at our regular check-in - she'd referred us to the hospital to check on Baby's decreased movements in my belly. She offered to break my waters and get the show on the road but I wanted to wait for Boyfriend Pham so we could share the whole birth experience from start to finish. I'd told Boyfriend Pham to take it easy before he came in that morning because it would be a big day for all three of us - and possibly his last chance to relax in a long while. So, Boyfriend fixed his car and chilled at home for a bit before coming to the hospital with a pit stop at the coffee cart.

After my caffeine hit, my waters were broken - the sensation of it gushing out was very weird, though not as odd as birthing the placenta that night. The midwife started my synthetic oxytocin drip. The dosage was gradually increased every hour or so and I watched the monitor where I was shown that my body was contracting, but I didn't feel any pain for the first couple of hours. Then the contractions started to twinge and gradually build until about the fifth hour of induced labour when it started to hurt. Boyfriend Pham attached the TENS machine with the midwife's advice because the instruction manual told us to apply the patches too high up.

Labour pain is the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life. It's gruelling having your lower abdomen muscles contract for hours with increasing frequency as time goes on. The TENS machine helped distract from the pain in my belly, by directing pain sensations to my back. I didn't take pain medication because I didn't want anything passing through the placenta and making him sleepy. Gas would have been the only medical option I'd take but by the time I could have used more pain management than the TENS, my contractions were so close together I couldn't catch my breath or organise my thoughts enough to ask for gas. I was a wild animal by the end of my 8-hour labour; my body took over and I was letting out uncontrolled guttural moans with each contraction.

My labour would have been longer if it wasn't for Baby Pham causing more drama. In the final hour, my body was telling me to push but the midwife told me not to because Baby wasn't ready yet. O lordy was it painful to resist the urge to push. I ended up shitting myself because the pressure from Baby's head and contractions were so immense; the midwife had to wipe me clean a couple of times. When I was finally ready to push, Baby's heart rate dropped worryingly low a number of times and disappeared altogether. The midwife didn't know whether it was from him being so low in my body that the monitors couldn't detect him or if his heart had stopped so the situation escalated quickly in the final moments.

The senior midwife was called in and suddenly there were two new faces in the room, and I was being told to PUSH! because my baby was exhausted and needed to come out immediately. I tried to push for two contractions with no luck, then the senior midwife told me Baby couldn't wait for contractions any longer. She coached me through how to push without a contraction; I had to hold my breath and push with all of my might. I strained so hard that I thought I was going to break myself, which in a way I did. I could feel myself tearing as I pushed Baby Pham out, and the midwives pulled him free, but with all the adrenaline I didn't feel any pain.

All I felt was concern that I'd taken too long to push him out until suddenly, there was a baby lifted towards my chest and I could see his little chin quiver before he let out a healthy wail. My boy was alive and he was alert! I was flooded with relief and love for both my baby and the best partner I could wish for in Boyfriend Pham.

Boyfriend Pham is the most supportive and wonderful birth partner. He coached me through each painful contraction, breathing with me while I clung to him. We didn't realise what we were doing is hypnobirthing (deep breathing techniques) until a midwife told us afterwards, Boyfriend was using yoga breathing techniques he'd learned from Yoga with Adriene.

Our little miracle baby was here thanks to his persistence through our fertility journey, and his support during pregnancy, labour and birth.

Our fertility and pregnancy experience

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