It was my first time and I was still so naive.
I didn’t know how it would feel for a water bag to break. I had no idea how painful contractions would really be even though I read about it numerous times. I also didn’t think there would be so much more to the birthing process than the coming out and cutting of the umbilical cord.
There are many tiny details that no one tells us about and that’s the main reason I’m sharing my birthing experience.
If you’re a soon-to-be mom planning to have a natural birth, consider this a What To (Really) Expect guide. I promise you’ll be more prepared than I was — physically and mentally — if you read this till the end.
If you’re a seasoned mom, feel free to laugh at my embarrassments. I was a total amateur. LOL.
From labor to delivery, here’s how my big day went.
(WARNING: Explicit content. Mention of private parts. Please read medically.?)
July 14, 2011
I was awakened by a sudden gush.
I was on my 38th week of pregnancy and I thought I just peed and wet myself a little during my sleep.
I got up and changed and went quickly back to bed.
A few minutes later, another gush came.
I woke Chris up and asked him to check if my shorts smelled like urine (you can just imagine how grossed out he looked haha) and he said it didn’t.
So what could it be? My water bag? OH! God! My water bag! HURRY!
We called my OB-Gyne and rushed out of bed feeling worried, scared, nervous, and excited that this was finally it!
Would the water drain if I stood? Should I be carried to the car? Would I give birth right away? Did I just skip labor? All those questions in my head!
Well, the answer is no. I stood and the water didn’t flow like a river like I thought it would. No, it wasn’t like the movies where babies come out as soon as the bag breaks and No, skipping labor was just wishful thinking.
We arrived at the hospital and I was attended by a male nurse. I have nothing against male nurses, but I was a first timer and being quite reserved and unprepared for someone else’s fingers (apart from my female gynecologist’s) to check me down there, I was very uncomfortable. ?
Add the fact that while he was measuring my cervical opening, he was chewing what I think was his breakfast? Which I probably interrupted? Like it was a fairly ordinary thing to, you know, eat breaky and check someone’s vagina at the same time. Major AWKWARDness.
“2cm!” He announced.
I wasn’t in pain (yet) but I couldn’t work up a smile.
I don’t think I’ve ever exposed myself in broad daylight to a man I only met 5 minutes ago. I felt kind of violated? LOL. I know, crazy of me to think that. After all the birthing videos I watched, I still wasn’t psyched up for all the exposure of this big day? They’d even see me WIDE OPEN in the delivery room later… One big eye roll to myself. ?
But.. really.. it was an awful feeling. I lay there in fear of what was next.. or whose fingers were next. ?
Two hours passed and my OB arrived and checked my opening again.
(Oh, thank God it’s her now.)
“3cm!” she said. “Don’t stand so you won’t lose your fluids fast. I’m estimating you’ll give birth around 6 or 7 in the evening.”
“Oh, that’s 8 hours from now. It is still a long way,” I thought to myself.
She removed her gloves and reached for her bag.
(Wait, she’s not really leaving, is she?)
She left to do routine work and said she’ll be back when I reached 6cm to give me an epidural anesthesia if I couldn’t handle the pain.
IF I couldn’t handle the pain.
There were 3 other women with me in the labor room, all waiting for their time to deliver too.
I’m betting it was already their 2nd or 3rd child as they were very calm.
Me, hmm, I was far from calm. I was noisy! LOL
The contractions were still tolerable up to this 4th hour of labor. They were like intense menstrual cramps that were far apart (20-30mins gap) and I could still talk and laugh with Chris in between.
He was right beside me and his parents were there to show their support too.
There were also two student nurses monitoring me and massaging my lower back every time my tummy contracted.
Boy were they helpful.
Every time the pain would crawl, they’ll massage it right away until I was feeling better again.
“Nakaka-tawa pa si Mam. Mamaya, hindi na yan,” said one.
[Madam can still laugh. I don’t think she can still do so later.]
(Is that really true?)
Well, she was right.
After lunch, my agony began.
The contractions got longer and closer together (every 10 minutes) and I started moaning in pain.
The contractions occurred every 5 minutes and my moans got heavier and heavier.
The head nurse came over and ask,
“Do you already feel like pooping?”
I said, “I don’t know. It feels more like farting. Is that any different?”
I guess that was their signal.
I was brought to the delivery table right away and was asked to lean on my side until my doctor arrives.
I was in UNBEARABLE pain!
I was squeezing the hand of the nurse beside me because they hadn’t let Chris in even if that was our initial agreement.
Had they called my doctor yet?
I could feel the baby about to come out and they wouldn’t let me?!
“It’s about to come out! Come on. Call the doctor again! Where is she?”
I was deliriously waiting, probably crying, that part I don’t clearly remember.
It took a few more minutes before she arrived and when she did, I wanted to kick her. (No, I didn’t.)
She asked me to lie on my back and lift my legs up.
“10cm. You are FULLY DILATED,” she said.
(Hah! No chance for an epidural then. So help me God.)
My legs were shaking and I was completely terrified.
Then I noticed there were more student nurses coming in and watching me in my wide-open state.
(Omg, film viewing?? Why of all people, why me, huhuhu)