When I found out that I was pregnant, I was over the moon about it. Once I got over the excitement, I started to feel anxious about birthing. Actually, I was quite terrified of giving birth thanks to the many horrific stories that my acquaintances, friends and families told me previously about how painful labour was for them.
I guess I was already scared even before I had the opportunity to go through the experience. What’s more, as I’ve never been able to stand physical pain, I really didn’t know how I was going to make it out alive.
I sought reassurance through heavy preparation and education. Instead of one standard antenatal class, I attended two. Instead of reading the standard brochures that I was given at the hospital, I chose to read extensively to ensure that I had covered everything. I have to admit that I even bought half a dozen of maternity pad packs as I thought after labour; I will bleed continuously and require 6 packs.
One of the common themes that I found while doing my research was birthing is a long process and can often become complicated for no apparent reason. That was the mentality I adopted throughout my pregnancy which lead me to create my birthing plan.
I had everything planned to the tiny detail. Seriously - I had an excel checklist for my husband which detailed the exact steps he needed to take when my waters brake and I enter active labour. That was my misconception about how labour starts.
But, all of that planning sort of went out of the window one early morning when I woke up. I thought I had wet my bed!
I quickly woke up to go to the toilet to finish my business. I then wiped myself and as a routine check of the tissue before disposal, I was shocked to see there’s blood! Then I thought “hooray, my waters have finally broke!” It was fantastic news for me as it helped clearly identify the beginning of my labour (I like clarity in life…who doesn’t?).
I then went to wake up my husband, who was still slightly hangover from binge watching a Korean drama. He quickly jumped out of bed as I told him “the baby is coming, honey. Waters are broken.”
Without hesitation, we packed the things we needed and headed to the hospital.
I was nice and calm as the contractions hadn’t made their debut yet. So we stopped by McDonald’s to get me a McMuffin and a cup of green tea.
When we reached to the hospital, I went through the normal checks like how far I was dilated and my baby’s heartbeat.
About 2-3 hours later, we finally got a full measurement done and by that time, I realised that I was experiencing contractions.
The urge to go to the toilet became even more intense and happened so frequent, like every 5-10 minutes. But the midwife insisted that we go back home and scheduled me back in 4 days for induction.
We didn’t know a lot plus we were both tired from watching a TV drama quite late, so we were happy to follow her instruction and go home (even though I was recommended by a relative to camp out near the hospital).
By the time we got home, I was a mess. My contractions were becoming even more frequent. At that time, I realised that it was definitely not an urge to go the toilet. It was a baby that wanted out of my body.
I screamed and screamed as the contractions kicked in. My husband called the hospital again and the lady overheard me screaming my head off so she told husband to tell me to conserve energy by not yelling. I did as I was told, again. But the problem was, my natural instinct told me to replace screaming with pushing.
I had a hand towel in my mouth to stop me from screaming and for me to direct the pain to by way of biting while my husband told me that we should get some good rest before the baby comes. I did try but it wasn’t easy to go to sleep when I was having contractions.
About 30-50 minutes later, I declared to my husband that I MUST go to the hospital as I felt something was between my legs. Though I didn’t disclose to him the reason, he followed my instruction anyway. I could barely stand it, but I tried to remain silent as I was scared that I’d make my husband too terrified to drive.
I sprinted out of the car when it was parked and made my way to the hospital. By the time I got inside, I couldn’t bare it anymore so I started kneeling down and screamed my head off again.
Luckily, the lady at the first place, who I later found out was trained as a nurse, recognised that I was clearly in active labour. So she offered to call the birthing unit for a wheelchair.
I was so delighted to see the wheelchair but then what happened next, was like a blurry scene to me. All I could remember was that I was in the wheelchair and the next thing was, I pushed my baby out in front of two female visitors!
They then wheeled me to the birthing unit where I was supposed to deliver my baby. I laid there with my baby on top of me feeling so strange like the feeling you have when you meet someone for the first time. It sounds weird but I couldn’t help feeling that way. But each second I held my baby, I felt like I was getting to know her slowly.
They say ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. However, I say that planning does not necessarily solve our obsession for certainty. Sometimes, the unknown makes life magical so let’s accept it.
A recovering perfectionist with an overly curious mind and a passion to help first-time mums navigate motherhood with confidence. A mother-in-training as well as a wife who doesn’t know how to cook!
Hood: Springvale South
Children: One beautiful, talkative and playful baby.
Motherhood in 5 words: Incredible, meaningful, magical, tiresome and empowering.
Fav family-friendly place: Chadstone Shopping Centre
Coffee order: Large cappuccino (with no sugar) with a slice of cheesecake.
Biz: The La Land
The La Land is a space for me to journalise my honest and humble account of being a new mother while attempting to uncover some hidden realities of new motherhood.
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The information in this story is a unique and personal reflection of the writer's experience. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.