I’ve known a couple of friends who are set to become first-time moms soon – maybe by the end of this year or the next year, and I ought to share some of the things that happened during my labor. After all, labor is the most intense part of pregnancy and childbirth, they say. And I learned the truth when Kai arrived.
Getting close to your due date is a rather differently exciting feeling because you feel nervous about what might happen (whether good or bad) and at the same time, there’s you who just couldn’t wait to see and hold your baby, especially since you know you’ll be having one whose gender is something you prefer. When I found out Kai was a boy, I wanted to get it over with my pregnancy just so I can already hold him close and snuggle with him.
I really didn’t realize at first when my labor started.
They say that it’s begun when you feel symptoms like lightening (the baby has dropped and you can breathe easier), a bloody show (indicates loss of mucus plug and the cervix has thinned out and relaxed), or the urge to nest. As for me, I noticed a light brown discharge when my due date was fast approaching.
I didn’t feel anything different then – it was just that discharge that I told my partner maybe it’s time to go to the hospital. We took our packed stuff and headed to my mom’s place to wait out. That night, we went to the hospital while my OB wasn’t around so it was a different doctor who took a look at me. I just told them that I had a light discharge and that I’ve been instructed to head to the hospital if this happens. So technically, I was already there labor has started.
I was waiting for the moment where everyone around me would panic because my water broke – ye know, the stuff you see in the movies (lol). But none of that happened. I got checked in at the hospital where I slept in the labor room, with no phone and nothing to save myself from boredom. Significant others are not allowed in the area as well. I told the nurse couldn’t I just sleep at my mom’s (her house is nearer to the hospital) since I’m not feeling anything at all. But she then told me it’s SOP for preggos at 3 cm to be checked in.
So I slept there, with other ladies in the room, and with an IV stand, which I had to drag around when I go pee. Clearly, I didn’t know about this and I wasn’t prepared for this part. The next day, still nothing. Around lunch time, the doctor checked and I was at 5 cm. I didn’t feel anything — should I be feeling something? At around 3 p.m. that day, the doctor came back to check and it’s up to 6 cm.
She continued to “strip” me and decided that I needed to be “pricked.” Wow, that word was something that scared the sh*t out of me.
What the hell was that? I heard the sound of tools clanking in a pan and just the thought of having something inserted in your vaj while you’re pregnant seems too scary for me. Well, that happens to be one of the procedures doctors do – pricking a hole in the amniotic sac – just to stimulate the hormones that should speed up the labor. This is done when a woman goes into labor but is not that fast. And oh boy, the progress was fast for me once my doctor pricked me. That’s when hell happened.
I started feeling the pain when I was measured at 7 cm. Yes, it was excruciating. I had nothing there – no one to talk to, no one to punch. I had no outlet. One moment, the nurses just praised me for reading a book(won’t forget it was Ransom Riggs’ Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) despite being at 6 cm the next I was swearing. Yes, I was still even considerate enough to keep it down because I don’t want weird glances directed at me. Earlier, someone was moaning loudly in pain and I thought I wouldn’t be that someone. I was growling and moaning (still considerate to keep it down) because no – you can’t understand that level of pain. My friend was right, it felt like having painful menstrual cramps, only 10 times worse.
I was given a drug to relax, probably a narcotic, that is said to make me sleepy enough, I won’t be aware of the pain.
It worked! Oh yes, it did. It made me drowsy I would fall asleep for five minutes – and it was real sleep because the pain drained my energy. But right after those five minutes are over, it’s happening again. It’s like a sudden bam! around the hips! that’s going to wake you. And right then and there you wish it would be all over. This is the part that sucks the most, I tell you. For those who are about to give birth, prepare yourself for this kind of intense pain – it’s like no other.
So, the staff and my doctor kept reminding me to let them know if I have the urge to poop. Eventually, I did and I was wheeled to the delivery room. What’s unpleasant was that you have to stand on your own to get to the wheelchair. At that time, I didn’t know how I would do that, and in my head, I felt like lashing at the nurse and tell her, “how do you expect me to get up from bed while I’m having these painful contractions and hurting like sh*t?”
Somehow, I managed to gather all the little strength I had to stand and get myself on the wheelchair. When I was already on the delivery table, my body was too weak to give a damn about what’s happening. My only thought was that I want to hold my boy. I want to see him and I couldn’t wait to see him.
And again, the stuff you see in the movies where the woman is screaming like crazy while giving birth – that doesn’t happen in real life, at least not in my case. On the contrary, I even felt relieved each time I had the urge to poop and make a push. It’s like I wanted the contractions to come so that I can push.
I can’t remember how long it took for me to get Kai out but as soon as they did, it was such an amazing feeling. The pain was definitely all worth it.
Your labor might be different from mine and our stories might be different from others. Every labor story is diffrent but one thing we, moms, have in common is that we’re strong enough to get through it.
What’s your labor story? Care to share? Hit the comments section down below.