The whole nine-month pregnancy was smooth and wonderful. I knew I would deliver my baby past my due date. At my 39-week check-up, I still had no Braxton hicks or not even 1cm dilated. Since I wanted to meet baby Will earlier, I started to increase daily exercise during 38-week pregnancy, walking about 8km per day.
On Dec 6th, two days before my due date I still felt the baby didn’t have any sign to come out. His head was already low on my pelvic floor for 8 weeks. By low I mean doctor could touch his head when she examines my cervix. At this point of time–when approaching your due date, many friends and family members started to text or call you wondering whether you were in labor. I began feeling a little anxious and tried to induce labor naturally. I followed “natural mama’s video” on Youtube, climbing stairs and jumping on the birthing ball. These exercises can help start labor if your baby is ready! The amazing thing is next day I was actually in labor!
That night at 3:30 am, I woke up and felt my pant was wet. I rushed to the bathroom and saw pink blood on my pads. I asked my husband to call Kaiser emergency line immediately and they asked me to walk for 30 min then called them back. At 4:30 am when I was eating breakfast a gush of water coming out and I firmly believe my water broke. We quickly rushed to the hospital.
When I arrived Virginia Hospital Center at 5:30 am, the nurse first used a test strip to test my amniotic fluid. I had no contraction, no pain. The test strip didn’t change color. They put me in the hospital for 5 hours to monitor me and my baby’s heartbeat. They want to make sure my water did break. Usually, water breaking is a gush of fluid continuously coming out of your body. However, mine was not. Mine was a small flow. Dr. Miller told me that my water was NOT broke and I need to GO HOME!! (OMG!!!) They wanted the labor to happen naturally. They didn’t want to do everything manually to push labor to happen.
I was very disappointed, exhausted and stressed. We went back home at 11:30 am and I felt extremely fatigued. I slept for two hours and when I woke up, the bed and my pants were thoroughly soaked. The warm liquid kept dribbling down my leg. I knew this time my water did break. The mucus fell off as well and my membrane was raptured.
I went back to Virginia Hospital Center at 3:30 pm. All the nurses there saw me with surprise. They said oh you came back again. Dr. Miller checked me and she confirmed my water broke. I was a little excited because I could finally meet baby William. She asked the nurse to start Pitocin on me since I had no contraction. They put the IV catheter in my right lower arm. It was used to drip in fluids and medication. This needle is much painful than the epidural.
The contraction pain started to build up around 6:30 pm. I always wanted to have the natural birth but it was too hurt. I also wrote in my previous blog that I did regular yoga exercise and take birth classes. However, I felt agonizing pain in my belly, butt, and back. Around 7 pm and I started crying. The pain was so intense. The nurses came in and they told me I don’t need to be in such pain. If I want to do epidural I can do it anytime. I guess around the time I was just 3 cm dilation. I agreed to take epidural although I heard many scary things about it.
The epidural took effect around 8 pm. The needle was not painful at all. The anesthetist told me the needle was tiny. The contraction gradually faded away 30 min after they put it in. Thank god, I could finally sleep through the whole night. Dad went home after seeing me calm down. As they increased the amount of Pitocin, I could feel the labor contractions in the left butt growing stronger. The anesthetist told me epidural cannot numb all the area. If the pain is manageable just leave it there. It is helpful when you push the baby. The other side effect of epidural is that my upper body (breast and arm)began feeling very itchy at the final stage of labor. I had to put an ice pack under my armpits to keep myself comfortable.
At 1:00 am on Dec 7th, the ob doctor came in to check on me and told me the good news that I was 10cm dilated. I was completely dilated and effaced– I can start PUSH…! I was in active labor! Yeah!
Although with epidural, I could still feel my legs and left butt. It was not entirely numbed. I can move my leg on the bed. When Kelly, the nurse asked me to push, I could totally feel the process of my baby entering the world. Around 30 min after pushing, Kelly already saw the hair of the baby. She told me maybe in one hour baby was out. During the whole night, I drunk some ice chips, jelly, water, and juice. No solid food at all. I was trying to breathe through the contractions using the yoga class technique My husband was by my side all the time, coaching me how to push and gave me strength. I am so glad that I was with the most important people in the world.
I had a 2nd-degree perineal tear. Kelly and Dr. Farahani Farimah were very patient. They didn’t want to do the lateral episiotomy on me. Dr. Farahani Farimah said my pushing went on very well and my pelvic floor muscle was very stretchy. The baby was also doing great on his own. Will’s heartbeat keeps strong—140 during the three-hour pushing. Most babies couldn’t do so well after pushing for such a long time. She said we could do it in a natural way. We pushed baby’s head out little by little for 3 hours. I am so grateful that I met this two angels at VHC. The whole pushing experience with them was mentally relaxing.
At 4:30am baby finally came out. The placenta came out right after the baby was born. His crying was so strong and beautiful. It was the best melody I have ever heard. He looks handsome and adorable. William was immediately put on my chest right after he was born while the doctor was trying to stitch up after I experienced a small tear. His skin was smooth and soft. The most important thing is our baby is perfectly healthy and strong, weighing 7 pounds 10 ounces. We were so blessed.
My dad and mother-in-law arrived at 5:50pm and immediately announced the news to my family in China. I facetime with my mom and grandparents to share the joy and happiness. At final of this article, I couldn’t be more grateful to Kelly and Dr. Farahani Farimah. I also want to give my special love to my husband. He was with me the whole time and he did so well to make me feel comfortable. It was a dream delivery experience because of this three people. As for my son William, he is the best thing we have ever had. We’re so happy that he’s here, and are loving every minute of being his parents so far.