Motherhood is an experience that makes us learn something new every single time, whether we have had babies before or not. And more often than not, it starts with your labour.
I am already a mum to two gorgeous children, and both were normal unmedicated births. But this time around I had a condition called pre-eclampsia, because of which I had to be induced as soon as my baby had developed optimally in the womb.
I didn’t think much of it. I already had babies before, so how bad or complicated could this be? But I was going to be wrong, so terribly wrong. There were so many things that I faintly remembered about induction from my prenatal classes, but none of them prepared me for what I was to experience in this childbirth.
For your enlightenment and amusement, here they are!
1. A Balloon Inserted INTO THE Cervix
Yes, that’s true. Before they administer pitocin to induce you, they insert a balloon with the help of a Foley bulb catheter. They place it between your amniotic sac and the uterus and wait to see if it gets you to dilate. I wouldn’t say it was very painful, but it was definitely very uncomfortable.
2. Slow Action
My partner and I expected some quick progress after pitocin was administered. However, there were hardly any contractions until 8 or 9 hours. The contractions took that long to start.
3. No Information
I can understand that all the procedures are too routine and probably mundane for the nurses, but if I asked them about the procedures and their duration, they didn’t seem interested. In fact, they were rather annoyed to be asked so many questions. I didn’t even realize that my pitocin doses were increased to reach contractions and labour.
4. Taking Endless Walks
I held my partner’s hand and took endless rounds of the maternity wing and the corridors, but there was no sign of any pain or labour. We saw women go inside, deliver and come out of the labour room. Meanwhile, I just kept walking!
5. Hunger Pangs
While I was mad with hunger, I wasn’t allowed any solid food while on pitocin, so I had to survive on soups, broths and jellies.
6. Artificial Rupture
I was hoping that I don’t have to go through this one, but my hopes were dashed. Indeed, they did a water-break with an amnihook since my labour pains hadn’t begun.
7. Multiple Water Bags?
Really? Never heard of it? After I had some contractions post-water break, my midwife waited for some time to decide on a second water-break, and indeed, the full-fledged contractions began soon after.
8. The Most Intense Contractions Ever
I have never ever experienced such rapid and intense contractions, even in my previous deliveries. They were too terrifying, when I look back and think about it.
I had hardly eaten anything substantial, but once the labour started full on – I threw up everything.
10. No Squatting
While I was insensible with pain and contractions, my body wanted to squat, and bring the baby out. But they needed close monitoring of the baby, and hence I was glued to wires and monitors instead.
11. No More Dilation
The midwives told me that, after so much pain, I still hadn’t dilated beyond 5 cm, which was seriously shocking!
12. Get The Epidural
Because I couldn’t endure the pain, I requested for an epidural- something I never thought I would need.
13. The Anaesthesiologist Took Forever
Seriously, I was writhing in pain, but he seemed to have too much time on his hands. He exchanged pleasantries while I wanted him to GET ON with his work!
14. The Anticipation And Fear
I was in the midst of enduring never-ending pain, but the anaesthesiologist didn’t forget to mention the threat of paralysis, after-effects of epidural and so on.
What a great time to scare me!
15. The Baby Already There!
Even before the epidural could show its effects, my baby’s head was already seen. However, the effects of epidural definitely helped me during the stitches.
This was a little account of some intense moments of anxiety that I felt during the birth of my third baby and it taught me how each of these moments added to my learning curve and experience. Hope it helped!