Just before dinner, I started having what felt like period cramps. Somehow I thought I should time it, and realized I was having contractions about 20 minutes apart. I hadn’t told the husband yet, because I think he would get panicky. The only thing I told him was “maybe you should consider taking a shower now” which he did. By 10pm, it went down to 10 minute intervals. That was when I revealed that I’d told him to shower just in case we need to head to the hospital.
I’m not sure why but I thought I remembered my prenatal class saying to head to the hospital once your contractions are 15 mins apart (some people have told me 5 later). So we called my mum-in-law and she drove us to the hospital. It was a little confusing because the night entrances/exits had been switched around due to COVID-19. We made it, they hooked me up to the machines. While waiting I took this shot to show my husband and his mum what it looked like inside (and the readings. 153 was baby’s heartbeat and 3 was the contraction I think). Now it’s strangely nostalgic looking at that photo.
Anyway, they did a cervical check – 1cm dilated. Go home. So we walked over to my office to park my hospital bag, and called a cab from there at 1am. The Guards must’ve been wondering what was happening.
Friday, 6 March 2020
Early the next morning I was due to see my gynae anyway. Filled her in on what happened the night before. She did a cervical check, 2cm. Then since I wasn’t doing much at work that day, she said to hang around, walk, and come check again before the day ends just so I wasn’t making trips back and forth for no reason.
So I did. And meanwhile I was supposed to walk and keep active. So i took a walk to ShakeShack to grab lunch back. Walked to deliver things from person to person. My colleagues even insisted they take photos of me, because it was possibly the last time Blueberry would be inside me.
Strangely by 5pm, the contractions went down to once every half an hour. I sat at work contemplating if I should check myself in. Eventually I did, to save myself a trip home. 2.5cm dilated (only?!) after walking the entire day. The doctor on-call swiped the membranes (basically that makes the cervix dilate faster) and managed to expand it to about 3cm. And sent me home again.
By then the contractions were starting to be every 5-7 minutes, but I thought it was only because we’d tampered with the cervix. I had dinner with my folks, or what I could stomach for dinner, they dropped us off home. I then showered and was preparing to head to bed for potentially my last quiet night.
I was just about the climb into bed when the contractions intensified and my waterbag burst. 10pm. I think that was literally an hour after they’d dropped us off home. I remember sat on the toilet bowl so it wont be to messy and I told my husband “you gotta be kidding me”. I was surprisingly upset – after being sent home twice, spending the whole day near to the labour ward, 1 hour after I get home, my waterbag bursts and it’s time to head back. This time my mum-in-law dropped us off at the hospital and we told her that she didn’t need to wait around, since I was definitely getting admitted.
I had initially contemplated going in without epidural. But I was already in so much pain that I asked for any painkiller I could get once I was in. They gave me the laughing gas first, which made me feel strangely nauseated, and made me feel like back in the day when I had one too many beers. Then the anaesthesiologist came to give me my epidural, which worked wonders, and I slept quite well for most of the night. Joel on the other hand had to sleep on a reclining armchair that didn’t quite recline.
Saturday, 7 March 2020
By 6am, the Doctors did a check and said I was fully dilated and ready to push. Blueberry’s heart rate had been strong all night and continued to be strong, so they waited a while to let her descend a little more. New and naive I was pretty smug about being fully dilated and ready to push, because we’re always worrying about not dilating and having to do a C-section. Naive me also didn’t realize that the hardest part was yet to come.
When it was time to push, somehow she’d gone from a face-down position to sideways (looking at daddy) that made it really hard to push her out. She also had pooped in the womb, so the forceps came out for a one-last-good-push. Thanks to the forceps I tore pretty badly, lost a good amount of blood… but at that point of time I just wanted her out. Blueberry was wailing for some time but the nurses helped the husband take some photos with him. Then they put her right next to me and she went all quiet once I spoke to her. After that, she was taken to the high dependency for some monitoring right after birth till later that afternoon.
I realize I don’t know how to end this post, but Long story short, I had a fever and my blood pressure and heart rate went haywire on day 2. Baby went for a day of phototherapy, we didn’t want formula initially but chose to take it eventually to keep the jaundice levels down. Eventually everyone was well and we all were discharged from the hospital 5 days later to come home and meet the rest of the family, since they all couldn’t visit due to COVID! Now we’re praying there’ll be a chance that we can celebrate her first birthday with a big bang 🙂 The end.