Friday, March 19, 2010

Jonah's Birth Story

Quite a few people have asked me to post Jonah's birth story. Here you go =)

A little background on public transport first: Since cars are outrageous to own and maintain here in Singapore, we rely on buses and taxis. That means that even a simple trip to the nearby grocery store can turn into a huge outing if we happen to miss the bus or if we can't hail a taxi quickly. If we are really desperate, we can call the taxi company and book a taxi (and pay an extra fee), but even that isn't foolproof. Just two days ago, we spent over 20 minutes on hold, attempting to get through to the booking agent-- after trying to hail a taxi on the street for over 30 minutes!

So. . . what does this have to do with Jonah's birth? A lot. My previous two labors were short and without warning (3 hrs for Caleb, and 90 minutes for Annabelle) and I was pretty sure this labor would be quick, too. I had visions (nightmares is more like it) of delivering in a taxi en route to the hospital. And apparently my fears weren't unfounded because the doctor had the same concern. About a month before my due date, she broached the subject of planning an induction. My first pick would have been too let my body go into labor naturally, but given the circumstances, I was relieved that the doctor was willing to jump start things to avoid a taxi drama!

On Monday, March 1st, I went in for my 38-week check-up. I was already dilated to 3.5 cm so the doctor arranged for me to check in the next morning. It's a strange thing to go to bed knowing that you'll wake up and have a baby in your arms by the end of the day. Needless to say I didn't sleep well on Monday night!!

Our friend volunteered to watch Caleb and Annabelle, so after dropping them off at her house, Josh and I headed to the hospital. We got checked in and the doctor broke my water around 10:30AM. We waited an hour and a half to see if I would start contractions on my own. I had a bit of light cramping, but they were strongest just after my water broke and had subsided by the time 12:30 rolled around. The doctor decided to put me on a drip to induce labor. Unfortunately, I have ridiculously small veins and it took over 20 minutes for the nurse to get an IV line inserted. They finally started the drip a few minutes before 1:00. They started me off on the lowest dose possible, but even so, contractions started immediately. YIKES! It felt like going from zero to sixty in 3 seconds flat. The nurse manager came in around 1:15 and checked me-- 6 cm. She told me just to call her when I felt like pushing. She bustled around the room checking the IV and getting things in order and, no joke. . . two contractions later I suddenly felt the unmistakable urge to push. I told the nurse and much to my surprise, she started pulling out all the delivery items while dialing the doctor on her cell phone. I looked at Josh and he looked at me. . . this lady was obviously overreacting! After all, I was only at 6 cm about 2 minutes before. I almost questioned her, but the next contraction started before I could get the chance and once that one hit, I really didn't care if she was overreacting or not. The doctor arrived about 3 or 4 minutes later (her office is only 4 floors above the L&D ward), threw on her gear and sat down. On the next contraction, she gave me the okay to push and two pushes later, Jonah was born! The doctor immediately put him on my tummy and I was the one who got to make the announcement, "We have a boy!!!" (Josh said he was totally speechless because the whole thing happened so fast. I didn't mind, though. . . I was kind of fun to get to be the first to announce it!) 1:24 PM--just a little less than 30 minutes the first contraction. Jonah cried immediately which is always a beautiful sound!

Each time I've delivered, I'm always amazed at how immediate the relief is and how quickly I forget that only minutes before I was in agonizing pain. The joy is overwhelming and sudden!

As cool as it would have been for Jonah to say he had been delivered in a Singaporean Taxi, I'm pretty darn happy that's NOT his birth story =)