25 April 2019

Induced Labour & Hypnobirthing

First of all, I'd like to thank all those bloggers and YouTubers who shared their own hypnobirthing experiences. Please know that your effort of sharing your experiences helped me during my pregnancy and birthing process, too. And so, I'd like to share mine and hope it helps others as well.

7 March 2019, Thursday (after Ash Wednesday)
Warded to maternity ward in Ipoh GH, Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun around 2pm-ish in 2nd class ward (4-bedded room, no air cond)
Can't exactly remember time of following events but changed into pink ward clothes and started with a CTG scan for 20 minutes. Later, doctor came (probably after dinner time) to check cervix opening (obviously it was still tightly shut) and insert a branula on right hand. Was slightly anxious but managed to relax, breathe and do affirmations.

Every now and then nurse came to do BP check. All normal. Later that night (probably after midnight), nurse informed that I will be induced at 6am. I set my alarm for 5.30am and slept with whatever time I could as I was not sure what's going to happen the next day.

8 March 2019, Friday
I woke up at 5.30am as my alarm rang and I freshen up while waiting anxiously. Shortly, a nurse came to take my BP and told me to get ready to go soon. I packed only the necessary things in my tote bag (maternity pad, panties, baby's cloths pampers, some packed cupcakes) and left the rest of the things at my bedside cabinet. I waited and waited but unfortunately, I think they kinda messed up the schedule. The nurse was kind enough to bring me Milo and nasi lemak for breakfast before I got to the Prostin room (though I did munch of some of my packed food already).
The nurse told me to go straight to the Prostin room after breakfast. By the time i got there, it was roughly about 8am.

8am - Prostin room
2 beds in the room. There was already an Indian lady next to me. The nurse came later to explain all the procedure. Her name was Kumathi, she was very nice. She also mentioned no handphones, only for emergency to call husband. I was quite disappointed as I wanted to listen to some relaxing music. But since I was practicing hypnobirthing, I just did my relaxation breathing instead.
Shortly (probably about 8.15am), a doctor came to check my opening and then inserted the pill to induce labour. My cervix was quite high, so, she had trouble locating it. But she was the nicest and most gentle doctor. Of course, I was slightly scared a first, but I remembered and told myself that my entire body has to relax, otherwise, I will definitely feel the pain. So, I did relax and consciously breathe the way I have been practicing and there wasn't much pain. After she had inserted it, she left and the nurse explained that I can't go anywhere for 1 hour (no walking, no toilet breaks). So, I just lay down there on the bed.

9.15am - CTG Scan
9.40am - After that 1 hour and CTG scan, the nurse allowed (and encouraged) me to walk out of the room. Apparently, walking can help to fasten the opening. So, I walked out of the room towards the waiting area where dear husband was waiting. Just seeing him and talking to him made me relaxed and calm. Didn't feel much contractions yet at this time. Could only stay out for an hour before I had to get back in the Prostin room.

10.40am - Back in Prostin room and nurse did CTG scan again. I was consciously, calmly breathing, just like how I've practiced at home using the hypnobirthing technique.

11.10am - Could walk out of the Prostin room again but this time I was not out too long as lunch would be served soon (around 11.30am). Still not much contractions. Contractions was quite far apart and not intense.

11.45am - Back in Prostin room and had lunch. Can't remember what was served. Hmm.... But it wasn't that bad though.

1.30pm - CTG scan again. CTG scans are done at the 1st, 3rd and 5th hour after insertion of the pill.

3pm - doctor came to check opening but opening was just 0.5cm, cervix dilation 1cm. Long way to go. Second pill inserted and this time the doctor was pretty rough down there. Hated her.. Jeez.... The pill insertion seems to be more painful that the contractions I was having. Again, my cervix was still pretty high up there. But I still remained calm and relaxed because I couldn't afford to tense up my muscles. Tensing up my muscles and pelvic floor would just make the pain worse. So, I just chill and breathe and let them do their job.

So, from 3pm, the same process takes place for another 6 hours. First hour, just lying in bed, CTG scan at 1st, 3rd and 5th hour, and whenever I could, i'd just go out and see my husband who was patiently waiting for me. But after the second pill insertion, i felt the contractions kicking in within the first 10 minutes. But still bearable. All I did was breathe the way I had practiced all this while. It helped me focus on my breathing than the contractions. Whenever I could go out, I'd do squats to help open up my pelvic area.
Everytime I "appeared" in the waiting area, people waiting seems to look at me one kind... Haha... They might probably be wondering how the heck I'm still out and about walking. As I was walking out one time, a nurse asked, "Tak beranak lagi?" Haha... Around tea time, husband and MIL (mother-in-law) brought coconut water (supposed to help with the dilation or contractions, I think). Husband left for dinner after that and came back later around 7.30pm. I asked him to bring me McChicken & Fries!!! Haha.... Yeah, because the nurses keep telling me to eat as long as I can since I can't bring in food into the labour room later on.

Anyway, somewhere in between, the Indian lady next to me was pushed to the OT for C-section. Her induction wasn't working apparently. A Malay lady took her place shortly.

By 9pm (the 6th hour), a specialist came to see me to check my opening. First question she asked the houseman that was there, what's my contraction like. At that time, it was 4 contractions in 10 minutes, 45 seconds each. Upon hearing that, the specialist turned to me and said, "That's quite strong but you look very calm." I was perplexed for awhile and then, I smiled at her and shrugged my shoulders. I just didn't know how to respond to her comment. But in my head I was like "Duh!!! You are so textbook!" Honestly, this is where hypnobirthing really helps. Anyway, my opening was still 0.5cm, dilation 1.5cm. I was like, "WHAT????!!!!" Anyway, she said she will come and see me again at 1am to check my progress.

In the meantime, I ate my McChicken and fries that my loving husband bought for me. A nurse came in while I was eating and smiled at me. I smiled back. It was quite an awkward moment. A woman in labour, eating McDonald's.. haha.. they probably rarely see this case in government hospitals.

Somewhere in between (can't remember now whether it was before or after 9pm, probably before), the Malay lady next to me painfully informed the nurse "Nurse, air dah tumpah". The nurse was in a rush to get the doctors, the MO rushed in with a bunch of houseman doctors. It was pretty intense for awhile as the Malay lady delivered right beside me. After some time, a doctor peeped over to my side and asked, "You takut tak?" and of course, I said no because I was just chillin'. But I did feel a little weird. They just didn't have time to push her to the labour room. Everything was done in the Prostin room and she delivered quite fast and well.

9 March 2019, Saturday
1am - MO came to check but I said I was waiting for the specialist instead. So, she didn't check me. Oh, good... I didn't want too many doctors checking my down there too many times. Like I said, checking down there was more painful than the contractions. By then, I was already bleeding (but apparently it's normal because they keep checking).

3am - I wondered what happened to the specialist but apparently I think she was in the OT and so, an MO came to check me and I allowed it because I wanted to sleep. She checked and I still wasn't progressing. They said they'll check back in the morning but not going to insert another pill because I'm already having contractions. Contraction pain was starting to kick in but still bearable when I consciously breathe. But for the sake of having energy to push my baby out the next day, I thought I better get some good rest and so, I asked for a painkiller and slept soundly for about 3 hours. FYI, the room was pretty cold that I asked for a second blanket!

6am - nurse woke me up to check my BP. Later doctor came to check my opening again and somehow I progressed a little bit. Opening 1 cm, dilation 2 or 3cm (not sure what they wrote in the report, but from their conversation, it's like they couldn't really decide exactly). Anyway, they decided to push me to the labour room. Before that, i packed my things and a nurse served me breakfast to eat before I entered the labour room. But she didn't really give me a peaceful time to eat. She was like "quickly eat." I did and grateful that they were kind enough to serve me breakfast first. They also informed me that the doctors will have to do an artificial rupture of the membrane (ARM - water bag) before calling my hubby into the labour room. They also injected antibiotic as I was GBS positive.

8am - Labour room
Some houseman doctors was there. They started the procedure of the ARM. A junior houseman (I believe so) tried and couldn't get it. She was taking forever to get it done but still couldn't. She let a senior MO/houseman to do it and finally she managed. It took some time to get it though, probably because my cervix was still high. Was it painful? Not really. I just made sure I remained calm and relaxed and breathe so that my muscles around the area don't tense up to cause pain. After that, she also drained out my urine (about 20ml) because I was restricted from going to the toilet.

Shortly after that, my hubby came into the room. A nurse put on the drip for me (syntocinon) and was doing a CTG scan. Soon, i started feeling more intense contractions. I asked my hubby to help me with counter-pressure exercise. That helped but later the contractions got worse so, I asked for another dose of painkiller. Painkillers can only be taken 6 hours apart. While waiting for the painkiller, I started grunting in pain but hubby was there to remind me to breathe. I kept hearing my yoga teacher's advice "Always come back home (your breath)" and my another guru, T. Harv Eker "Dont lose your center". More about my pregnancy yoga here. Had no idea what time it was but hubby said painkiller arrived around 11-ish. I was quite sleepy (probably from the painkiller and lack of sleep) and started to fall asleep. I was thinking that I can just sleep until the next "big" contraction. But the nurse saw me and she said, "Jangan tido. Nanti you nak teran." I was like "OK."

<Lost track of time>
My eyes was closed most of the time now but not sleeping. Suddenly I felt quite a "big" contraction and I started pushing. I told the nurse and she said don't push yet. It's not yet time. I listened to my body and then, listened to her and did not push any further. The next big contraction, I knew it was time to push. The blogs and YouTube videos I've watched said that you will feel like a strong urge like you're gonna pass a "big" motion and that's when you should push. Didn't really know how that felt until now. So, I told the nurse I'm going to push and she quickly checked my opening and I was already 10cm. That was my first push and then the doctor said she was going to cut down there. I briefly told them not to, didn't have time to explain (my baby's head is only 8cm and if you allow the tissues down there to slowly warm up, I wouldn't tear. Even if I did, I would probably tear a 1st degree tear. That's what I train my mind and body to do). Later, my hubby told them not to do so too. He said they hesitated for awhile but perform episiotomy anyway. Damn, those doctors. Again, they seem to be very textbook.

Had my second contraction and I pushed again. By then, they already performed the episiotomy. The nurse asked me to continue pushing all the way but I was already out of air. So, I took a quick gasp of air to continue my J-breathing to push my baby out and I did it!!!! I did it with just 2 and a half push. The nurse said I knew how to push. Yup, thanks to hypnobirthing, all the bloggers and YouTubers out there who shared their experience. Also, thanks to my yoga teacher. Yoga helped me focus on my breathing as well. Done and dusted at 12.17pm. I decided that I wanted to be in the labour room for only 4 hours. I was slightly over, but pretty close.

I asked whether it was a girl or boy and they showed the baby to me instead to identify. It's girl!! She was so tiny and cute and they put her on my chest. Shortly, I delivered the placenta and stitching of the wound was going on. I just relaxed and laid there. Haha... It must have been the painkiller that made me super sleepy!

All in all, I was grateful I had quite a smooth delivery with good experience. The rest is history. It's all in my head.

Here's the takeaway:
1) Hypnobirthing works and can give you the most natural birth experience (with lesser  medical interventions).
2) Decide (months earlier) how long you want to be in the labour room (what the mind decides, it can be achieved).
3) I'll share you my mantra/affirmations that I used the last few weeks before my delivery. Continued to use these until the labour room:
"I am calm and relaxed at all stages of labour."

"Always come back home."

"Don't lose your center."