We arrived at the hospital at exactly 7pm and went straight to the labor and delivery section. The nurse asked me if I'm having any pains...which I answered yes...a little bit. I feel really heavy! Still no back pains...(why do I keep on waiting for the back pains?!?!)
They took me to one of the labor rooms and asked me to undress and put on a lab gown. A nurse came in and asked me hundreds of questions...only thing I remembered was if I'll have epidural...which I answered “YES!” automatically.
After a couple more minutes, my ob-gyn showed up to check my progress. He told me I’m already 8cm!!! The dilation of the cervix before delivery should be 10cm...I'm only 2cm away! Jude and I were shocked! And I was even having second thoughts about going to the hospital!?!
After that, the nurse asked more questions…asked me what my level of pain is (from 1-10)...seriously, for me it's just 7... She was like “just 7?"...So, through the contractions, I said “okay..now, it’s 8.” I guess from reading too many birth stories, I imagined that the level of pain would be too high...
Another nurse came in, placed an IV on my vein and took some blood samples. She told me we need to wait for the blood results before I can have epidural. Honestly, at this point I knew God granted my prayer...no pain meds.
More contractions..like every couple of seconds. The nurse came back and said we don’t have the blood results yet, and I might have to start pushing. She checked me and I’m already 9cm...No time for epidural! I feel tired and want to drink water...which, unfortunately, is not allowed. She gave me a cup full of ice chips instead.
My water bag is still intact at 9cm dilation...my doctor said he has to rupture it. He also placed some sort of device on my baby's head...to hear the heartbeat better.
He left the room and the nurse said I have to start pushing...she'll bring me to the delivery room when they can see my baby's head. Okay, so...I really don't know how to push! That's the hard part...she said I was pushing with my face...I wanted to laugh but was too frustrated to do so! What the heck is pushing with my face?! She was teaching me how to push the correct way...Ugh! That was tough! She told me I have to push like I'm doing "number 2”...why is it so hard when you're not sitting on a toilet bowl?!
I was so thankful that Jude was there the whole time...counting 1 to 10...helping me push...sometimes distracting me.. There's a tv inside the room and it was tuned in to a Peanuts Christmas Special. Jude was like, can you tell me the name of this and that character? Between contractions, I would say..."Oh, it's Pigpen...*contrations* and that's Peppermint Patty..." Can we stop this please..I'm having a hard time breathing! LOL. It's funny now...it was frustrating then...up to now I still can't remember the name of that one character....there was also this one time he told me to "not look like I'm weak"...ummm...can you tell me how to do that...?
Anyway, back to my story...After much pushing and little luck with doing it right...I looked at the clock and it's almost 10pm..I told myself, I want to give birth before 11! I pushed, pushed and pushed! Finally, they can see my baby's head...they wheeled me in to the delivery room and that was it!!! It's time!!
Then, I felt my doctor pull her out...our baby...whew!! They cut the cord and brought her to the cleaning area. Jude asked me if he can go and see her...
While he was taking pictures of our daughter, I gave birth to the placenta...double whew!! It was such a huge weight off me...then they started to stitch me up (I had an episiotomy). I felt everything! Even the stitches. Now I truly believe that our bodies are capable of so many wondrous things…that some pain are just in our minds..that women can make it though natural delivery without any pain meds...(just like the old times!)
The nurse from the labor room cleaned me up. She pressed on my abdomen and I felt a gush of blood...old blood. She said I wouldn't want that inside me. She helped me move to a different bed and then handed me my daughter, Shandi. I still can't believe it! We arrived at the hospital 7pm...I gave birth 10:32pm. God is great!
It all felt surreal. Like, you know it's your baby...but you still can’t grasp the reality of it…Like, how did this happen? The miracle of life and my share in it…
Before, I imagined myself crying after giving birth…but being there...at that moment...I didn’t cry…I was immersed in the wonder and beauty of it all…of giving birth without pain meds, of being with my husband the whole time, of sharing this wonderful experience with him…and then, finally seeing and holding our baby in my arms…I didn’t cry…I was in awe…and full of thanks for all our blessings…I just want to say Thank you Lord!