Posted by: stephtong | 22 May, 2014

Supernatural Natural Birth


I’ve finally sat down to write my birth story.

During Pregnancy

In one of the earliest Doctor’s appointment, they found a cyst that might require surgery if it didn’t shrink. We prayed for the cyst to shrink, and it reduced in size and disappeared in about 2 months time!

The Scare

I had the structural scan (also known as fetal morphology) for the baby around Dec 2013. We waited for a long time at the Doctor’s. Finally it was our turn to have the scan. It was all ooh and aah as it was our first time having a glimpse of Selwyn in 3D scans. Everything seemed fine and the Doctor asked us to wait outside. Moments later, the Doctor called us back into the room. You know something was up when the Doctor asked you to come back. The Doctor said Selwyn seemed to have borderline average penile length. This was the first time in my life having this overwhelming feeling of “I dunno what to do” or “have I done/eaten something wrong or not enough?”. From then on, we kept monitoring the “private part” in every Doctor’s appointment.

The Birth

May 9 2014, 3:30pm (3cm) This was the normal weekly Doctor’s check up. During the examination, the Doctor said “You’re 3 cm dilated already! It’s not in active labour stage. You should now go home, take your bags and go to the hospital.” Although it’s already 3 cm dilated, I didn’t feel any pain at all! We went for afternoon tea, went home to have a shower and off we went to St Teresa’s Hospital.  We checked in at around 5:30pm.  While in the “waiting room”, I was strapped with the baby monitor for an hour. After that, no signs of contractions (at least I couldn’t feel any)/ water breaking/ show etc. It was a long wait. I was pacing up and down the corridor, doing squats, breathing… everything that I could do to make it progress quicker.

May 10 2014, 4:30pm (6cm, 4cm?) The nurse came to do another examination. The nurse said, “You’re now 6cm dilated! Let’s get you in the delivery room.” I was wondering, “Really? I still feel no pain at all.” I was wheeled into the delivery room, strapped to a baby monitor again and had the IV inserted into my right wrist. The Doctor came a while later and checked again, “Well, it’s only about 4cm. You can probably go back out and walk a bit first.” So we went out and it was back to the waiting game.

May 10 2014, 8:30pm The Doctor came back to do her rounds again and she gave us the advice to augment the labour. Her suggestion was to perform an artificial rupture of the membrane (ARM) (i.e. break the water manually) to quicken up the process as the dilation duration had been too long and there was still no sign of baby coming out. She covered all the risks of doing/not doing ARM. In the end, Sam and I decided to perform ARM.  Up till now we had been in the “waiting room” for about 28 hours; our only entertainment was seeing all the pregnant ladies (most of whom opted for Caesarean) being wheeled into the delivery room.

May 10 2014, 9:40pm (6cm) The Doctor performed ARM and the water broke. Still no feeling of pain and I was 6cm dilated. Moments later, I started to have this period pain feeling. I wanted to see what my pain threshold was, so I used breathing techniques (learnt from the ante-natal classes) instead of the Entonox (laughing gas) to ease away the pain. Gradually, the pain became more and more intense and I grabbed the laughing gas like it was my lifeline.

At this moment, Sam was on my left hand side and I felt that Jesus was on my right hand side in the room. He was watching over me calmly, doing nothing but His presence was there.

May 10 2014, ~11pm (6 to 9cm) I really lost track of the time as I was on my laughing gas. The gas valve loosened in the middle of my breathing and I fiddled around to have the gas back. Lucky Sam caught it and was able to re-attach the valve 🙂 Soon after, the nurse took the gas away, and I said “Why?!” It was the stage to start pushing and I couldn’t be dozing in and out of it.

Selwyn was an occiput posterior (OP) baby, meaning his head is head down and facing forward instead of facing my spine. I was prepared for it before the labour as I read up having OP babies meant a longer and more painful birthing process. As the baby’s bum was pushing against the spine, even an epidural couldn’t numb the pain. I was ready for this back pain that was going to come.

Yet during this transition stage of labour, I felt a warmth at my back. This warmth removed all the pain that I was supposed to have on my spine. Instead, I could concentrate on pushing Selwyn out. It is so Jesus, nothing but Him.

May 11th 2014, towards 00:15 Finally, the pushing started. It was the biggest dump ever! I mustered all the strength that I never knew I had to push the baby out. As the baby was still in OP position, he needed a bigger than normal “gateway” to come out. As I pushed, the Doctor cut when it teared. Seriously, at the time, those cuts were not painful at all. The pushing pain was bearable and I just had to learn to direct my strength to push him out. Finally, after about 30-40mins of pushing, Selwyn was born! No Pethidine, no Epidural!

It was such an amazing feeling to finally hold this little buggy in my hands. I thought I would cry, but I think I was too exhausted to have any deep emotions 🙂 Then Sam and the baby went out of the labour room, leaving just me and the Doctor doing post-op stitching. That part was a bit lonely.

It was a rather big wound and there were lots of bleeding during the night. The nurse came every 2 hours or so to “massage” my stomach. It was painful! But it really helped in getting all the “stuff” out. Later that morning (Mother’s Day!), I was able to walk about and didn’t need a cushion to sit on too! The paediatrician also had a check on Selwyn: his penile length was normal!

We praise God for all that He has done for our family. His healing hands, His supernatural presence in the labour room – He has been there throughout the whole pregnancy and birth journey. He is at the centre of our new 3-person family 🙂


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