Like every first time expectant mom, my feelings towards labor and delivery were excited, anxious and scared. I did not prep myself by crowding my mind with too much information about labor or delivery. I used the go-with-the flow formula. I learnt about painless labor through my gynecologist, when it was offered to me. I was so sure right from the start; that I will bear as much pain as possible and I will try my best for a normal natural delivery. Therefore, I rejected the offer when made.
My bun was baked beyond the cooking time. I served the full 40 week pregnancy and in fact was almost over-due. My baby did not decide to come out, as she probably needed more time inside to enjoy her stay in her first home. As I approached the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I started getting curious about how labor pain felt. I asked my mommy-friends on their experience of child birth and gathered their hands-on experience of their C-sec & normal delivery. Strangely, on speaking with my friends, they could not exactly describe how the labor pain or delivery pain felt like. Some of them had an epidural –normal delivery while some had a C-sec and yet both are doing extremely well. So could not really weigh the pros and cons of C-Sec vs Normal delivery completely. All that mattered was the baby and mommy were safe. However, I decided I would want a normal delivery only and would be fine even if I had a C-Sec out of no option.
No signs of labor- waiting and waiting
As I did not get any natural labor signs until the end of 39th week, we decided to fix a date to get myself induced for labor. The date was fixed on checking on availability of the labor rooms, doctor’s availability and In-patient stay room. It was 1st November 2016 and the doctor asked me to get myself admitted in the morning followed by induction by noon. The plan was to get myself induced twice as my baby wasn’t ready yet with the head not fixed low. Hence, we proceeded as per plan. We reached the hospital at around 10 am and the admission process itself took about until 12 pm, with the insurance and hospital formalities. We checked into the room around 1 pm with my luggage and baby’s bag. My husband hardly had any bag for himself but was packed with his techie gadgets to keep himself occupied.
Induction- enjoy the starters before the main course
Before I was taken to the labor ward, the nurses prepared me by shaving off my pubic hair. I wasn’t sure if I had to shave my pubic hair ahead, considering the fact that it is hard to shave down there with a huge bump. The nurses did a good job with the razor. I was then taken to the labor room around 1:30 pm, all set for induction. I, being an over-thinker, was scared of the induction process, was worried if it would be painful. To my surprise it was nothing at all. I was asked to lay on the bed and spread my legs, with something inserted inside my vagina. And it was done. The doctor asked me to leave the room. So I was normal with no bad sensations yet, was in the room, having no idea of what was ahead of me. My neighboring rooms had women in labor pain, moaning in pain, some of them walking and some were puking. The sight and sound of those weren’t really motivating. Hence, I decided to shut the door to shut the fear to creep in. Started to relax and began to sleep as I was already tired. Perhaps, plenty of sleep is nature’s way of preparing yourself for the big day!
How did the labor pain feel like?
It’s been 4 hours since the induction and I was taking it all easy so far with no kind of discomfort or pain yet, without any signs of labor set. I thought it was going to be easy, little did I know what it felt like. Gradually, I started feeling a minor discomfort in my pelvic area; I thought “oh wow that is it! So easy, that’s all is the pain!” “Is there anything more?” “Will the intensity increase?” slowly with time, the minor pain started increasing in intensity and started coming in more frequently. My contractions had begun. Now if I have to describe this pain, it should be like the pain we feel during a bad period or like a cramp in our pelvic. Imagine if that intense period pain would come in every min, that’s vaguely how the labor pain was to me. By now I started telling myself; “I can bear this and more. I am capable of more pain than I think”
With every contraction, I said to myself, “It’s not painful, it’s going to end, I can do it, my body is doing great, I can push it without an epidural, and this is not the worst pain ever”
As I kept preparing my mind towards bearing the contraction pain, I pushed myself to the very end. After 7 hours of labor, I heard something drop down my pelvic and my water broke. I was sure that my water broke, however the nurses’ dint acknowledge that. Yes, you will know the difference between a pee and amniotic water breaking. Now the contraction interval was getting shorter and I was beginning to feel that I cannot push it for more hours. Hence I started talking to my baby. I told my baby that, “baby please come out easily at the earliest, mama cannot bear any more pain” “You are my best baby ever, please come out easily without a C-Sec, without an epidural or without any pain at all”. I kept telling this to my baby. Yes, that was all I could do! But guess what happened?
Main course - A quick meal
It was early in the morning, around 5 a.m. when my gynecologist arrived to the labor ward assuming that she was going to give me another round of induction. When she checked on me, she was surprised to see that the baby’s head was beautifully fixed, my cervix was dilated and I was all set for delivery. Quickly they made me push. The doctor asked me to push with every contraction or every time I got the pain. Initially I gave it a 50 percent effort to push, hoping the baby will be out, but realized I was cheating on myself. So the doctor asked me to give a full 100 percent push like you are constipating very badly trying to push your poop out. So I pushed with all my energy completely until the nerves in my eyes changed (too much pushing, more than required) and by the third push my baby was out. Wow, my job was done. The happiest feeling was not that the baby was out, but that the pain had stopped. Phew! Second thought was if my baby was doing fine. That’s all! The rest was taken over by the doctor’s.
How was the delivery pain?
Honestly, as it was a vaginal delivery without an epidural, I dint feel any pain in my vagina while the baby was exiting. I was so focused on the pushing and the contraction pain, the baby coming out- dint matter to me at all. It was a piece of cake.
How to stay positive and not let the fear creep in?
Your body is a beautiful and a miraculous thing especially during pregnancy. All your fears will go away slowly if you start focusing on your positive thoughts. Believe in yourself and your baby during every single second of your labor pain. Your baby knows exactly when to come make its grand exit from you and wonderful entry into this world. Trust that your body is made to bear this pain and you can do it. Tell yourself that you will resort to other easy options at the end when you have tried all means. Speak to your baby throughout your labor. Believe that your baby can listen to you! Your baby will not put you in a lot of pain. You will have enough memories to cherish about the pregnancy, labor and delivery. You will be proud of yourself no matter what kind of delivery you have made, a vaginal or a C-Sec. All you want is to have a happy and healthy baby irrespective of the mode of delivery. Every pregnancy is different, every baby’s need is different, and every body’s pain endurance level is different. Hence, go in the flow and be strong and positive throughout!
Have a safe delivery!