Sunday, November 20, 2016

Baby Mavis's Birth Story

38 week pregnant versus 1 month post natal #wearing the same top

My two lovely babies

I have taken a very long time to share this cos I do not know where to begin. I knew it's gonna be a lengthy one. It all began from my first child's birth. My elder son Lil J was breastfed (mixed feeding) for his first 8mths of life but it was a tough journey as I was an EP (exclusive pumping) mom. There has always been a sense of guilt in me for not being able to direct latch him so when I was conceived with #2 my only wish was to be able to DL her. From my 1st birth, I learnt that we cant only wish, we have to work very hard to earn what we want. I had to have a strategy. I listed down the reasons for failure to DL baby J. 

#1, I was feeling too groggy and tired after my cesarean birth to establish skin to skin and first latch, bottle & teats were introduced before 1st latch 
#2, I had a pair of inverted nipples 
#3, lack of knowledge on breastfeeding

I did a lot of reading and research this round and I knew that inverted nipple wasn't the true reason for failing to DL, it was only my excuse for my own failure (so I would feel better). I was quite certain failure #2 and #3 can be overcome this round, but #1 was not easy.  I felt that I can overcome all of these obstacles if I give birth naturally. I am someone with very low pain threshold, I cant even let a doc perform a VE (vaginal examination) on me let alone birthing a baby naturally. 

To overcome this, I signed up for an online hypnobirthing course. At the end of the course (I was in my 30th week of pregnancy then), I knew I can deliver this baby naturally. 

I checked with my gynae for advices. He was open to the idea of VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Hooray!! cos my gynae is one of the most 'Ganjeong' gynae in town. I then joined prenatal yoga sessions every week to prepare my body for the birth. I remained very active with occassional swim and continued to work hard with my second hand kids books biz (which requires a lot of squatting and moving about). 

At 38th week, my gynae told me, "I know you wanted a natural birth, but due to your GDM gestational diabetes background, I cannot let you give birth later than 39th week (ie week commencing 8/10). You may still need a cesarean birth if you're late. Remember I said, he is the most 'ganjeong' gynae in town. I thought to myself, 'Oh well, I will try my best to delay going to the doc till later on in the work'. I still had high hope for natural delivery. 

2 am, I experienced my first ever contractions / surges. They were about 8-10 min apart and were very bearable. I had never experienced true surges before (my elder, J, was a cesarean baby). I actually thought surges were this bearable? LOL. I took my own sweet time taking shower, final checked on my hospital bag, prepped my son's snacks for school, ate and drank something. 

4:30am, I asked my hubby to send me to hospital. At the hospital, a trainee medical officer told me cynically, this is considered your first birth (first vaginal birth), so it won't happen so soon. He added on, I can guarantee you if I perform a VE on you now, your dilation won't be that much. He was right, a nice female midwife performed VE on me and I was only 2cm dilated. Young MO asked if I wish to go home and wait. I agreed. He continued to say, if nothing happens in 3 days time, I had to return to the hospital and I would probably need a cesarean birth cos of my GDM. I thought to myself, "3 days!?! I was gonna experience contraction for 3 days". 

8am, I was discharged and was waiting for hubby to pick me up. He was late cos he needed to get my elder ready for school. I was already experiencing quite intense surges (about 4 min apart). My mom kept asking why I opted to go home, seeing how unbearable the surges had turned to. I reminded myself, remembering what the MO said, it's not gonna be so soon, so let's just go home and sleep it off. At home, my mom told me she had contractions for over 12 hours before she gave birth to me, her first born. That again, let me to believe that mine is not gonna be so soon. 

9:45am, I had my bloody show. Still in doubt, I told my mom, but I decided to delay going to the hospital, just in case I get sent back (by the young MO again). 

9:50am, my water bag bursted. This time, I asked my mom to call my hubby to be home to send me to the hospital. The surges sensations was very strong, I couldn't walk when the surge came. The desire to poop was very very intense. I couldn't even sit properly, cos I felt something was coming out from the bottom. It didn't help when the road leading to the hospital was so bumpy. I wanted so much to swear or threw a tantrum at my hubby but I controlled myself. 

10:10am, we arrived at the hospital. I went up the delivery ward myself cos hubby couldn't find a parking spot. I screamed when I entered the ward (talk about making an entrance, I remembered vividly there were nurses staring at me). I cried, "Saya mau berak!!" (I need to poop!!). The same young MO, yes he was there, shouted, "No, you can't deliver here!! (on the corridor). They sent me a wheelchair. I refused to go on it, cos I felt very uncomfortable as there was something on my bottom (it was a weird sensation). I said I would walk. The young MO wanted to perform VE on me. God knows how I got the guts and where I got my strength from, I refused the male MO for VE, I requested for a female. He was clearly not happy but he still quickly arranged for a female colleague to check on me. They then realized baby's head was at station zero, I was fully dilated! Everything happened so swiftly then, they didn't even have time to change my attire. No epi was offered. After about 3 pushes, I delivered baby M. Birth weight was a little over 3.2KG. 

It was such a phenomenal moment, I couldn't believe I did it, in such short time and it was an all natural birth!! Went into the ward at 10:10am and baby M was out at 10:30am. I suddenly felt so strong and proud of myself. The tear was quite rough and the stitches took a long time. But by then, I got what I wished for, immediate skin to skin with baby M, she latched on me, strongly. Praises to the Almighty One for the smooth and safe birth. 

At time of blogging, baby M is 40 days old and is still exclusively breastfed (direct latch). I am happy she is exclusively direct latched but both my mom and mom in laws are crying, cos M is definitely not the typical "drink your milk and nap" kinda baby. She is very alert and needs to smell her mommy before she can fall asleep. >.< 

Again, tips to all new mommies, birth and breastfeeding are learned, they don't just come by naturally. Read up and do your research. We can't just wish, we gotta work hard to earn what we want. 

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