Friday, 19 March 2010

Pregnancy Diary: Labour of Love

Hi Grace!

I love reading your blog.. and I think your sons are absolutely adorable and seem really smart! Good luck with that, hehe.

Been meaning to ask, now that you're 3rd time preggers.. Why did u choose to do a C-section versus normal birth? For all 3 babies too?
Well I'm nowhere near preggers nor married even! But pregnancy is something I kinda fear.. or rather, the labour process. And as age is catching up, well, I do hope to settle down one day and have my own babies.. But whenever I think about the whole labour process, OMG, I faint imagining the pain!

Everyone then says, natural birth is easier to heal, you will forget the pain, it's not that bad, there's epidural, bla bla bla.
But considering you were a doctor.. I'm sure you have some good reasons as to your c-secs.. and if it isn't too personal, maybe you can share your views? :) But if it is, I totally understand.. anyways, good luck with the 3rd! Finally a girl. Yay!

Grace Koay March 17 at 7:50am

Hi SR!!

So lovely to hear from you! Yeah 3rd time round... and the LAST hopefully. As much as I enjoy being a stay at home mum, (and being preggers is not that bad trust me), I kinda want to reclaim some pieces of my life back!! teeheee....

I went into natural labour with Lachlan and endured 18 hours of contractions, but because my cervix wasn't dilating and the labour wasn't progressing, so I agreed to a C-Section. Also he was a big baby, 4 kgs! And thank goodness I didn't push him out. So yeah, I had the "best of both worlds" (right!) for my first, but for Lucas and 3rd, I just didn't want to go through the same ordeal again. Also, after having 2 caesars, the risk of going through natural labour is much higher (there's a higher risk of the scar in the uterus rupturing). Anyways, it may all sound really REALLY scary.... but it is not all that.

Being preggers itself for me is yucky for the first 2-3 months. Not everyone gets it, but I had bad morning sickness that lasted all day. Come to think of it, I fear getting pregnant because of morning sickness more than actually giving birth itself! LOL. So it's the feeling of nausea, like being sick, pukey yucky sick (SORRY!) and helpless. Then 2nd trimester whizzes by so quickly. And it's like being totally normal....... except your baby bump is starting to show, and you get to be pampered etc. And the last trimester is just "heavy" lugging around that extra kilos. So really, being pregnant is not like you're sick or anything, it is being as normal as possible and enjoying it.

Now "Labour" - sounds like you're going to have a baby in a major construction site! There are three stages of "labour" and everyone goes through it differently. All I went through was just the 1st stage of labour. And even that has three phases. (Oh gawd, all those medical terms, if only I remember!)

From Better Health Channel:

The first stage of labour

The first stage of labour is concerned with the thinning of the cervix and its dilation to around 10cm. The different phases include:
  • The latent phase - generally, this stage is the longest and the least painful part of labour. The cervix can thin out over weeks, days or hours and be accompanied by mild contractions. The contractions may be regularly or irregularly spaced, or else you might not even notice them at all.
  • The active phase - the next phase is marked by strong, painful contractions that tend to occur around three or four minutes apart and last up to a minute or so. The cervix dilates to around 7cm.
  • The transition phase - the contractions become more intense, painful and frequent. It may feel like the contractions are no longer separate but running into each other. The cervix may take around an hour or so to dilate the final 3cm. It is not unusual to feel a strong urge to go to the toilet as the baby’s head pushes against the rectum.
The second stage of labour
Once the cervix is dilated to around 10cm, the second stage of labour can begin. The contractions should now be regular and spaced apart, so that you can relax between them (as best as you can). As each contraction builds to a peak, you may feel the urge to bear down and push. The sensation of the baby moving through the vagina is described as a stretching or burning, particularly as the baby’s head crowns (appears at the vaginal entrance). Once the head has emerged, the delivery staff will turn the body to deliver the shoulders. The rest of the baby will then slip out. The second stage of labour typically lasts around 15 minutes to one hour.

The third stage of labour
The placenta is then delivered, usually five to 30 minutes later. Your uterus gently contracts to loosen and push out the placenta, although you may not be able to feel these contractions.

The first ??12-14 hours is not bad really, it's like having crampy period pains that comes and goes in intervals. It's like hey I need to poo but there's no poo, just a huge lump of head pressing onto my rectum. It's not like screamy GET OUT pain, but more like a discomfort. So that "18 hours of labour" that I endured wasn't particularly like GET ME OUT OF HERE pain! LOL. It's hard to explain. Even when I went to medical school, it all wasn't making much sense to me until I actually went through the whole process....hehee... The pains started to get worse and more intensed in the second active phase, and it's just frustrating because the cervix remained at 3-4 cm and not dilating further.

You're right, there's all sorts of pain relief goodies out there now, and don't be afraid to use them. They're being invented for a reason. USE THEM!!
And then by the 18th hour (honestly, I don't remember much of what goes on between the 14th - 18th hour! Probably drugged out and exhausted), I just nodded my head quicker than the bullet train when doc suggested a caesar. And I swear, when the spinal (just another form of epidural) went in, I would jump up to kiss the anaesthetist (pain doctor) if I could feel my legs, but I couldn't. So yeah, into the operating theatre and Lachlan came out 20 minutes later.

You are right about the recovery time. I am always envious of the moms who had normal labour and delivery, and on that same day look like they've just been back from a spa retreat, a nice hair do and a facial! All radiant and glowing with new bubba. So the recovery for a caesar is quite painful, and it takes time. It IS a major abdominal surgery after all. So I do advocate GO FOR NORMAL if you can, afterall it's been done for centuries! LOL.
Good luck!!!

And for more reading.... go here:

Oh am I that long winded? Now can I publish this on my blog?? :O

Grace :)
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maggie said...

that is one of the best explaination of birth i ever read! totally true. if given the choice again, i will definitely opt for epidural and natural birth.. never ever going to go through that horrible ordeal!

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