( bodo punye blogspot. aku type banyak2 hilang pulak. isy )
Alhamdulillah, I have safely delivered a healthy baby boy last Tuesday, 21 June 2011 at 9:27 am, Canberra time. He was 3.76 kg, 53 cm. I delivered him normally, without any painkiller. We named him Muhammad Daiyan Zakwan.
Anyway, I am pretty sure lots of people wonder how it feels like to give birth. Usually if we ask mothers about it, we are most likely to get "it really hurts", "it's indescribable", "i felt like dying", etc. as the answers. No one really gives the answer that we want to hear. So, here, I want to attempt the impossible: to actually describe how it really feels to give birth.
Let me tell you my whole experience first.
As usual, I woke up at around 3:30 am to go for a wee. However, unlike usual, I felt like my panty was wet. Afraid that my water had broken, I woke up to check the bed. The bed and my pants were okay, so it's only my panty. I went to the toilet to find that I had passed the mucus plug, but since it wet my panty, I was wondering if the water had broken, but instead of a gush of water, it might be dripping. So, I did my thing, put on a pad, and called the birthing suite, just in case. My call was answered by a midwife, and she told me that it was normal to be that wet when the mucus plug passes through, but just to make sure, she asked me to call her half an hour later. It was 4 am.
Shortly after hanging up, I felt my first contraction. It felt like a mild period pain. I was not sure it was a contraction at first, because I didn't know how it feels like, but since it came every 7 minutes, I was pretty sure it was contractions. So when I called the midwife back to tell that I did not wet the pad, I asked her if what I felt were contractions. She said it sounded like it was, so she asked me to drink lots of water and try to go back to sleep. I asked her when I should go to the hospital, and she told me that for first pregnancy, it usually takes 12 more hours after the contraction starts to be 2 minutes apart, so she told me to relax. I was like, "okay," although really, I didn't believe her. Anyway, I took her advice, drank some water, relaxed on the chair for a bit, and tried to go to sleep. By that time, the contraction was 4 minutes apart, and was getting stronger.
However, I felt sick shortly after I got on the bed. I rushed to the toilet, and I threw up like a water hose. Seriously, it was gushing out of my mouth. On the second gush, my water broke like a popping balloon. Seriously, I thought I heard a popping sound. Haha. So I asked Ajoy to call the birthing suite. The midwife told me to take a shower and eat some breakfast before coming to the hospital. Taking her advice, I took a shower while Ajoy prepared breakfast of rice and fried egg. However, I really couldn't take the breakfast because I felt really sick. I called the birthing suite again, and the midwife told me to come straight to the hospital. At that time the contraction was around 2 minutes apart and was really strong that it made me mengerang.
Arriving at the hospital at around 6am+ , the midwife put me into a birthing room. She told me to change my pad and showed her the one that I was wearing because she wanted to see the color of the water. I knew it was clear when it first broke, but it was a bit brownish at the hospital, which indicated that the baby had pooed in the uterus. I showed her the drenched pad, and didn't even bother changing into a new one because the contraction and all the other pains (back pain, pelvic pain, pain in the thighs, etc.) was too much that I didn't even give a damn anymore. Plus, I had already drenched my pants, kain batik and car seat that most probably there's no water left anymore. So I just went out of the toilet, and lied straight on the bed. I was so tired that all I wanted to do was to lie down and sleep (but of course I couldn't haha).
While I was lying dreadfully on the bed, trying to cope with the contractions, I heard the midwife told another midwife that I was on the bed in lots of pain and that my contraction was 2 minutes apart. Not long after, a new midwife entered the room (I assumed they just changed shifts). She asked me how I was doing yadayadayada. Then I asked her how far I had dilated, and she said, "Do you want me to check it for you?" I answered yes, although in my mind I was like, "isn't it the normal procedure?" They probably don't do it here. Anyway, she checked, and she told me that I was fully dilated, and I was going to have the baby soon. At this time, the contraction got so intense that at times I just had to scream because I felt the urge to push (but I tried not to because I wasn't sure if I should haha). She asked me if I felt like pooing and if sometimes I felt the urge to push, and I answered yes. She then made me got off the bed and took a shower (the warm water really helped relieving the back pain) and changed into the hospital gown. Then she asked me to kneel on the bed. And the battle began.. (chewah)
The midwife told me to push whenever I felt the urge to push, and that's what I did. Personally, I think pushing was the only way to relief the contraction pain. So I pushed when the urge came, tried to take a deep breath during contraction, and tried to rest in between contractions (I even fell asleep a couple of times haha) . Ajoy was next to me the whole time and he kept on reminding me to breath properly. He also fed me with some ice whenever I wanted (this is a great way to stay hydrated since it's hard to drink). After a few pushes however, I stopped having the urge to push; I only got the contraction. Since it had been a while since I last pushed (approximately half an hour), the midwife told me to push hard on every contraction that I got. So I took a deep breath, pushed like I have never pushed before on every contraction that I had after that. It felt like pushing a huge poo, no kidding. Even the midwife said "push the poo out clean~" to encourage me. Haha.
Anyway, after several strong pushes, I felt the baby's head at the opening. I started to feel stinging sensation as the baby stretched my perineum. After a couple more pushes, I could feel something came out, and I screamed as I could feel somewhere in my vaginal area was tearing. However, although it hurt like hell, I felt so much better since there was no more feeling like a huge poo stuck in the bottom, and plus, the stinging sensation wasn't there anymore. A second after that, I heard the baby's voice, and I thought, "finally!". I asked Ajoy if the baby's out yet, but to my disappointment, Ajoy said only the head was out, so I still needed to push. Finally, after 3-4 more pushes, at 9:27 am, the baby was out, and I was so relieved. Ajoy cut the umbilical cord. The midwife then asked me to lie on my back, and they put the baby skin to skin on my chest. However, since Ajoy needed to azan and iqamah to the baby's ears, I passed the baby to Ajoy first, while I was pushing the placenta out. Then Ajoy gave me the baby back, and let the baby to breastfeed for the first time (which he didn't do right away because he seemed too tired. He got on the breast after a few minutes though).
After the breastfeeding, a doctor came to stitch me up. She said I had two tears--a libial tear and a second degree perineum tear. She said she'd use local anesthetic (the same as the one used by dentists) for the stitching, but I could use the gas when she put the local anesthetic. I thought, why not, since I was done with the labor anyway. So I breathed in the gas (the laughing gas to be exact), in hope I would feel less pain when she injected the anesthetic. But boy, OMG. It hurts more than the labor itself, even with the gas. After a few minutes, she stitched me up (which still hurts, even with the anesthetic and the gas). When I asked her how many stitches did I get, she told me that I had one huge stitch. I wonder how she did it when I had two tears...anyway, she then shoved three painkillers up my bottom, and I was done.
Things after that got a bit blurry to me, since I was so tired and sleepy. I was given something to eat, and I fell asleep right after. I was then woken up by the midwife and she sent me to the ward.
So, to answer the above question:
Labor pain feels like extreme period pain (the whole set: tummy cramp, back pain, pelvic pain, fatigue, etc.), coupled with extreme constipation. Personally, I think the labor itself does not hurt that bad; it's not really about the pain, it's more to the annoying and uncomfortable feeling of being in pain and tired, when all you want to do is to rest. Maybe the most painful moment during labor is when the baby is pushing out of the vaginal opening; when all the tears happen (or not, if the baby is small or you are just lucky). However, since by that time you're not gonna give a damn anymore, all you want to do is just to push the baby out and be done with it. It hurts, it stings, because one of your body part is tearing up, but right after the baby is out, you cannot feel the pain anymore. Maybe because you've feel the worst, so anything below that (the fact that your vagina has torn) become unnoticeable. In fact, personally, I feel the stitching part is the most painful of all. And the agony that you will have to endure for weeks while waiting for the stitches to heal. So I guess, the real reason why mothers are placed higher than fathers is not just because of the labor pain; it's more because of the whole pregnancy, labor and post-labor pain that mothers have to endure just to bring one little life to the world.
And yeah, there is a thing called post-natal pain; it's the pain similar to period pain that you can feel (especially while feeding the baby) when the uterus is shrinking. The midwives at the hospital wished me luck, because they said if I could feel it now, it would only get worst with subsequent births. Oh, I guess I am not lucky. Well, I can't really complaint. I had fairly an easy and fast labor, it's only fair for me to feel the post-natal pain. I guess when you gain some, you lose some.
Anyway, that's it. I hope that answered the all-time favorite question "how does it feel to give birth". But of course, that's based on my experience. Different people might have different experience and might have different description :)
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