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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Thoughts on the labour process

1. Be prepared. I nicked some disposable incontinence pads from the ward and put them on my mattress along with an old towel. Really glad I did this because when my waters broke in the middle of the night, I did not have any control over it and would have otherwise soaked the bed with liquor! I also packed my hospital bag about a month in advance and prepared a birth plan so that I would not have to answer stupid questions during labour.

2. Don't Panic! After my waters broke, it took a while for the contractions to kick in, and even then I was not really sure if I was getting contractions or not. I freaked out for about an hour, ran around waking up the entire household (and possibly the whole neighbourhood), and then frantically rummaged through my cupboards looking for advice from Impey. After MDH calmed me down, we decided to wait until the contractions were roughly 5 minutes apart before heading for the hospital, so it meant I got an extra 3 hours of sleep in before we had to leave for the hospital. In retrospect, I could have waited until the contractions were stronger or more uncomfortable, because upon arrival in the delivery suite, the midwives sent me away to sleep for another 5 hours!

3. Epidurals are great and everyone should have them!!! The labour process for me was actually quite peaceful. I had my epidural early - basically I waited until I was contracting at a pain score of 7-8 out of 10 (10 being the worst pain imaginable) for about an hour just to see how much I could tolerate without any pain relief. I had been in labour for 12 hours by then and had only made very minor progress. Most women during the first pregnancy will progress by 1cm every hour, so I had a minimum of 7-8 hours left to go and realised that I would be totally exhausted from the pain by the time it came to the 2nd stage of labour (i.e. pushing time).

So, I decided to skip the entonox (laughing gas) and the pethidine injections and go straight for the epidural. It was the best decision ever - because after the anaesthetist administered the epidural, I went to sleep for 6 hours, during which the midwives augmented my contractions using a syntocin (oxytocin) drip. I woke up refreshed and ready to push! I don't know how I would have had the energy otherwise because I pushed for 90 minutes and was totally exhausted by the end of it, even though I was pretty much pain-free the whole time. Additionally, I was very relaxed after the epidural, which also meant that the baby was relaxed as well.

4 Comments:

Blogger stay-at-home mum said...

I had epidurals when i delivered my first 2 babies, but with the 3rd, I used the laughing gas. It really wasnt that bad, And I regretted not using it for the 2nd delivery, coz now when I suffer from backaches - I blame it on the epidurals! But for anxious 1st time mummies, epidural is the way to go!!

7:15 am  
Blogger aliendoc said...

Epidural was a godsend. The extra hours of sleep certainly helped!

8:45 am  
Blogger Ms-Ellisa said...

So cute!!! Congratulations!!!

3:52 am  
Anonymous a l said...

congratulations. =)

11:04 pm  

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