Finally getting around to talking about the labor! Picking up from 2 post back where I thought I was going into labor. Turns out I went into full on labor less than 2 hours after I posted the 36th week blog.
A little recap of that day. I was on an IV drip for 3 weeks that was suppressing the preterm labor symptoms. My docs wanted me to stay on it for as long as possible to give Ty a chance to grow, but at 36 weeks they decided it would be better for me to go off it. There was no way for us to know for sure if I would go into labor immediately or not. The docs told me that some females get some labor symptoms, but then they fade away and they manage to stay pregnant for extra couple of weeks and others go right into labor. We all just hoped I wouldn’t go into labor on Wed July 6th because that was one day where Motozo was not in the country. Motozo would return from Taiwan on July 7th, but things didn’t exactly go our way.
July 6th around 9AM the IV came out and I was thrilled! Enjoyed the shower that I wasn’t able to take for days, but I was a very good patient and did what the doctor recommended – stay in bed as much as possible and avoided walking around for the first 6 hours when the IV starts to wear off.
Braxton hicks were starting to come back, but nothing so strong to alarm me. After lunch I wished Motozo a safe trip to Taiwan and fingers crossed that the BH wouldn’t turn into full on contractions. Things happened pretty fast after that. The BH’s started getting stronger and more frequent. Strangely I really didn’t know if they were contractions even though they were strong enough for me to not be able to concentrate on anything but my breath. The contractions were about 4-5 mins apart and only continued to get shorter and stronger. My room mates kept asking me if I was ok and if we needed to call the nurses, but I kept telling them it was just uncomfortable. The nurses checked up on me anyway and probably because I wasn’t exactly in much pain they figured I wasn’t in labor just yet. They told me call them as soon as the contractions get more intense or frequent. I think I was in denial about being in labor because Motozo was on a plane at the very moment flying to Taiwan.
Around 5PM my roommates were really concerned about me because whenever a contraction hit I’d get really quiet and try to find a comfortable position. At this point there wasn’t any position that I felt comfortable, my pelvis felt super heavy and I felt like I was having super bad period cramps or even a bad case of diarrhea. Luckily I had absolutely no back pain.
The nurses checked up on me and immediately put a monitor around my belly to time the contractions. I don’t know how close they were, but they felt like just 30sec or less part. They told me I needed to go into the labor room and started the clock from 3:30pm when I called them earlier to tell them I the contractions were getting stronger.
I waved good bye to my roommates and was wheel chaired to the labor room. I remember thinking when I first got into the labor room how nice it was. There was a nice view of Roppongi Hills and it just felt super clean and cozy. Not at all like a sterile hospital. I called my mum who luckily was staying at my place(we live only 5 min walk from the hospital) to help set up the nursery and to be there for the 2 days that Motozo was away just incase something happened. Thank God she came over!
My doctors checked up on me and said it was good timing for me to go into labor now because it was still early and the doctors were all here and I was exactly 36 weeks, but too bad Motozo was away. They asked if I had some music I wanted to play and aroma I wanted to use (I wrote I wanted to use those things in my birth plan). I of course didn’t have any music or aroma on me, but the labor room comes equipment with a variety of music and aroma. I picked out orange smell and the midwife put music on for me. It really didn’t matter though whether I had music or not. The contractions at this point were really intense that I didn’t hear the music or smell any aroma. They checked to see how far dilated I was and I was 4.5cm. My mum came just minutes later and everything got a lot more intense.
I look back now and I think….gosh, I was like an animal, ha. I made a lot of noise because thats what felt good for me. My mum on the other hand thought I should be breathing in certain method and she kept telling me to breathe. I told her I was breathing. I was focusing on breathing long and deep breaths, a breathing method I was most familiar from my yoga practice. Unfortunately, my mum didn’t know this and I think I snapped at her a few times to not tell me how to breathe ha.
I’m really glad she was there thought. She kept encouraging me, asking me where I wanted to be rubbed or massaged, and just her presence made me feel better. For the most part I was overwhelmed with the contractions that I didn’t have too much time to think how disappointed I was that Motozo wasn’t here, but there was one brief moment where I suddenly felt like I was going to cry because I wished he was with me. But it was all about survival at that moment.
Just the midwife and my mum were in the labor room with me for a while (I don’t have a good idea of the time) and the midwife wanted me to stay on the birthing table since I had a monitor on me to check the baby’s heart rate and the contractions, but I kept telling her I really needed to go to the bathroom. I insisted I needed to so they took me to the bathroom and I as soon as I sat on the toilet my water broke. The midwife called my docs to let them know and she tried to get me back onto the table. She told me I’m probably going to have a really quick labor and I told her I really hope so because I wanted the pain to go away.
They somehow persuaded me to go back on the table, but I was on all fours and they wanted me on my back. I really didn’t want to be on my back because I read that its harder to push in that position and it also restricts the flow of oxygen to the baby, but they said they needed the monitor to be on me to check the baby’s heart rate and told me for the sake of the baby I needed to be on my back.
My mum was at my side the whole time telling me how to breathe again and petting my forehead. I remember she managed to give my dad a call telling him I was having the baby now.
Everything is kind of blur from here, but I vaguely remember a lot of doctors suddenly were all around me. My doctor told me to push and said I was crowning and let me reach down and feel his head. She said I needed an episiotomy because the baby’s heart rate was low. In my birth plan I specifically wrote, NO EPISIOTOMY, but I really didn’t care at this point. I was ready to do anything to get the baby out in the quickest way possible. They gave me a local anesthesia and a few seconds later they told me to push again and I think just 2 pushes later (a total of probably 3 pushes) Ty came out at 6:04pm. They took him to another room to do some checks on him and I remember just feeling so relieved that it was all over and so happy that I got my natural birth! My mom kept petting my head and saying, you did it you did it, good job and the midwife commented that it was a fast labor, less than an hour passed from when I got into the labor room. My documents say the labor was 2.5 hours although to me it felt longer.
Ty weighed more than we thought at 1917grams.
They told me he was healthy, he cried when he came out, but his glucose was low so they wanted to take him immediately to the NICU. They put him on my chest for a couple of minutes and my mum snapped photos for me. I remember looking at his blue/purple face and thinking he was the most gorgeous thing in the world and I was so happy he was there. After they took him I called Motozo (or did I call him before…I don’t remember) who just arrived in Taiwan minutes ago and told him Ty was born. I don’t think I was making a lot of sense on the phone as I was still in major shock over everything and he asked if he could talk to my mum. I hope he got the details he wanted from her ha
He said he was sorry he wasn’t there and I told him that it was really alright. We had no idea I would go into labor and it happened so fast. My doc even commented that even if Motozo was in Tokyo he probably wouldn’t have made it from his office to the hospital in time for the labor anyway.
I don’t remember delivering the placenta but sometime between talking on the phone it came out and I was told it was slightly smaller than average and that may be the reason why Ty’s growth was slow. Being stitched up was pretty uncomfortable, but I felt like I was on a high and chatted away with Lilia on the phone and called a few more people.
After an hour or so later I was told I was ready to go see Ty in the NICU. I was starving and felt really light headed, but was eager to see my little man.
Before he was born, I knew he would probably have to be in an incubator and have to spend some time in the NICU after he was born. Motozo and I took a tour of the NICU floor a couple weeks earlier, but nothing prepared me to see my baby in a glass box, an IV needle in his tiny hand to give him glucose, a tube going in his throat to and down to his belly to manually feed him if necessary and to check if his last meal was digested or not, and other wires to check his pulse and temp etc. I immediately started crying and felt so sorry for him and so guilty. I felt it was all my fault that he was where he was at and I should have done a lot of things differently during pregnancy.
My mum and I were able to just touch him through the little windows and tried not to make a huge scene with my tears. He didn’t look in pain or disturbed though. He looked pretty tired but had his eyes wide open. Mum kept saying that he looks super comfortable and content. He must have been as relieved as I was that the labor was over.
At 12AM Motozo arrived at the hospital and we went to see Ty together. Motozo asked how I was and I at the moment I felt pretty happy. I was so happy to have this precious little baby in our lives and I felt so blessed despite the situation. Poor Motozo was exhausted, he just spent the last 6-8 hours traveling to Taiwan and right back again, but I was so glad he was back.
The next 5 days were full of tears and smiles. I visited Ty a couple times a day and carried him whenever I could. I cried a lot when I saw him and the nurses were super nice at assuring me that he was a healthy baby, just small. The doctor went over Ty’s condition and basically he was a healthy, but they need to control his environment to help him put on some weight and monitor his condition.
From the first night in the hospital (after birth) I was woken up every 2 hours to manually express milk. The process was pretty tiring and exhausting but the nurses were super supportive and taught me a lot. They put me on a 8xs a day expressing milk schedule that I soon realized didn’t give me a whole lot of time to do anything in between those sessions. But I suppose I had a it easier then the mums who had their babies right next to them. I didn’t have to change diapers, burp, or sooth a crying baby, but I really wished I had Ty next to me. I was beyond jealous of the mothers who had even less sleep then me.
The day I was discharged from the hospital was another emotional day. A whole month in the hospital and unfortunately I wasn’t going home with Ty. My mum, bless her, decided to stay with me for a week to help out and met me at the hospital. I was so excited to finally leave the hospital, but cried buckets again saying bye to Ty. Good thing we live really close to the hospital and I promised I’d visit him daily and bring him express milk.
Its been almost a week since I’ve been back and Ty had made HUGE progress. He’s almost 2kilos, only has a monitor now to check his pulse, and yesterday I was successfully able to breastfeed him (the hospital offers breastfeeding practice etc when a baby is close to his discharged date). Yesterday was a special day! The nurse told me I should expect him to be discharged in a week and ask if I had everything ready for him at home. I’m not going to get my hopes up too high though and I’ll expect it to be at the latest 2 weeks for him to come home. In the mean time I’m slowly slowly getting adjusted to the sleepless nights, trying to rest when I can, and try not to stress out too much. I admit, I’m a huge ball of emotions and I burst out in tears easily, but at the end of the day, I’m a proud mama who can’t wait to have Ty home! *Update* Ty can come home this Wednesday! Happy happy!
I really do have to thank Motozo for visiting me in the hospital on an almost daily bases and dealing with all my emotions. Everyone who has visited me, called, wished me kind words of cheer and comfort – THANK YOU THANK YOU! It all made a difference and helped me a lot.
Now I’ll leave you with some more pics.
Burping my little man
Presents from mum and Lils! Thank you! Lil, I know I’ll def use the chair swing and chewing toy. The diaper bucket was on my needs list and mum picked out a nice one for me. 🙂
My mum has been taking really good care of me. She prepared lots of yummy meals, cleaned the house spotless and listens to my emotional blabber. Mom, I love you and you are so wonderful!
She made vegan gyoza for me!