As far as these things go, I’ve always considered myself pretty expert at giving birth. My first two deliveries were quick and easy and yes, there was pain, but I could handle it to the point that I laughed through most of the contractions. Literally, laughed. But the birth of my son, last Thursday was way different. I think that inducing labour played a big role in that. But hey, let’s start at the beginning:
My doc knew that I was super keen to give natural birth. I was convinced that Jonah would practically walk out of my womb, so to speak. But my last gynae visit showed us a very big Jonah and he didn’t seem too eager to make an appearance anytime soon. Given the fact that I was a few days away from my due date, my doc suggested that we induce labour. I mean, the kid was growing each day! There was also the concern about him being too big for my pelvis and all the other medical mumbo jumbo that made sense. I asked doc for a week to try to get things going myself. If nothing happened, we would be back the following Wednesday.
Inducing labour at home
And so the semi freak out began – I was determined to get labour started naturally! I even blogged about it over here, if you recall. Some of my concerns about a chemical induction was just that: It would be CHEMICAL. When you give birth naturally, your body releases certain hormones that makes it easier to do what it needs to do. It also helps you to handle the pain of childbirth. A chemical induction overrides all of this and is therefore more painful. Also, it could speed up the labour process which is not always a good thing, thus resulting in a C-Sec. And hey, there is nothing wrong with giving birth via Cesarean, but it was not what I wanted for me and my baby. Anyways, so I tried to induce labour at home but nothing seemed to be working! Finally, my Hubstopher grabbed me by the hands and gave me a good ol’ pep talk – “everything will be fine!” I decided to enjoy my last few days of pregnancy, because you know what, life is too short to do squats with a nearly 4kg baby boy lodged in your belly!
Finally Wednesday arrived – the day of the hospital induction. We packed bags and kissed our kids goodbye (which is another blog post for another day). I prayed and remembered all the things that I had learnt from the book that I had been reading – Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize. The book speaks about how God has designed our female bodies to form human life and give birth, naturally and successfully! I believed all of those promises for this birth. Once at the hospital, the nurse checked and saw that I was 1cm dilated. They decided to give it a night to monitor me and see if things will progress naturally. I watched TV, read alot, ate Macdonalds (no judgies) and a couple of hours later I had nothing to report. Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing. I woke up the following morning feeling like a loser. Jonah was meant to be here already!
Don’t go chasing waterfalls
The doc decided to induce me at 9am that Thursday morning by way of Pitocin – a synthetic form of the hormone Oxytocin. In a nutshell, Oxy is your friend… it’s the hormone that makes your uterus contract and spurs on labour. Pito is the chemical version of this wonder hormone – it stimulates the uterus. It’s usually given to moms by way of vagina, orally or via an IV. Sometimes, it’s administered all three ways, in various stages of labour. My doc chose the former option and said that she might not even give it to me orally because she thinks it would be enough to get labour going. And she was right. I spent most of the day on the bouncy ball, to get baby moving in the right direction. My doctor came to see me at 12ish and at this point my contractions were mild. She then ruptured my membranes (aka “waters breaking”) and I am pleased to say that I finally had my TV moment. My waters came out in a gush instead of the trickle-trickle I had experienced with my previous two pregnancies. I laughed, and continued to laugh each time I had a contraction because the gushing did. not. stop. I’m talking “somebody left the tap open!” gushing waters. It was a good sign, apparently.
Ish gets real
At 4pm the doc decided to administer Oxytocin via IV. This is meant to encourage the uterus to contract and let me tell you, the minute the hormone hit my blood stream, the contractions were super duper intense. I remembered everything that I had read in Supernatural Childbirth though. Every contraction is literally the muscles in my tummy doing it’s job to get my baby boy out. So that’s what I focused on, and I did it rather well, to the point where I heard my nurse tell the doc that I am “comfortable” and won’t be giving birth anytime soon. I had to call her and let her know that I am definitely NOT comfortable and I WILL be giving birth soon and she needs to check me to see for herself! She did and yup I was nearly fully dilated. She was totally shocked at my lack of dramatic screaming but I had peace and knew how to channel my energy into focusing on each contraction and not on the pain.
I need to push!
At 6pm I told her that I need to push, she told me it would probably take me another hour and half to reach that point. But the Oxytocin had really kicked it and it made my contractions totally unbearable, so I asked her to switch it off because I knew that my body could do the rest without any help. We had to walk from the labour room to the delivery room and guys, I stopped halfway (yes, in the passage) because I needed to push! I got a bit dramatic over there (sorry other ladies, within earshot, who still needed to give birth) and the nurse stood behind me ready to catch baby Jo, just in case he fell out. He didn’t fall out, fortunately, and I made it to the delivery room with everything still intact.
Jonah is born!
Once on that delivery table there was no holding back… and I got pretty vocal. Jo was born in a couple of minutes and yep, it hurt like crazy! Compared to my other kids, he was a big baby at 3.9 kg. My Hubstopher cried and laughed at the same time. I was just really glad that it was finally over! The rush of emotions (considering the fact that I had zero pain medication, I can’t even blame the drugs) made me say a lot of crazy things while my doc was taking care of my episiotomy. I remember babbling a bunch of things like “Oh wow, why do women go through this? I blame Eve!” and “Doc, I’m so sorry for being so loud but that was very hectic!” and (while addressing the nursing staff) “Guys, I’m so glad that is over!”
Jonah Mark Williams is perfect in every way. He looks like his daddy and has a calm disposition. His big sister loves him already! He latched on immediately, like a pro, and had his first “milk drunk” moment yesterday – super cute! I am totally inlove with him! Thank you to everyone for your sweet messages and prayers. And I am so thankful that God once again showed us exactly how He has His hand on our lives… especially when we are NOT in control.