Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stalled Labour or Part II of Childbirth

By the time we got to Motherhood Hospital in Indiranagar, I had experienced 3 contractions about 20 minutes apart. I was asked to go to the LDR or Labour, Delivery, and Recovery room because of my waters breaking (premature rupture of membranes in medical jargon). The attending OB made me lie down to avoid any more "leakage" and the baby "drying out". An examination revealed:
  1. I was about 3 centimetres dilated;
  2. I wasn't in labour; and also 
  3. The baby was fine. 
I was then "prepared" by getting an enema and having my crotch shaved by a nurse. Firstly, poor nurse, and secondly, I found my happy place. Which was good because I was living there by the time I was in active labour about 12 hours later. 

When Dr. Anita Balakrishna (my OB) arrived an hour later, I was still at 3 centimetres and I hadn't experienced a single contraction since I got to the hospital. She said that she'd like to get the baby out by artificially softening my cervix and inducing labour.

Although I hadn't memorised The Thinking Woman's Guide to A Better Birth, I knew I didn't need an induction till 24 hours had passed since waters breaki.  So I politely asked if we could wait to see if labour will start on its own. Probably surprised at my request, she jokingly said I should have a home birth.

I rolled my eyes and thought, would that I could, lady.


(un)Fortunately, my parents never told me about Stork, M.D.
So we got transferred to the suite my husband readied in the meanwhile. Amma helped me walk around for a little bit to get labour restarted. Unfortunately, this resulted in a lot of lost fluid and a nurse made me lie down and get hooked up to IV fluids. As she jabbed me, I knew being bedridden was going to stall labour.

In any event, all contractions ceased by 11 AM and I was bedresting so I settled down to memorise the part about inductions in the book. Although every website I visited during the pregnancy advised me to have and distribute a written birth plan, I didn't do it. I didn't want to worry about deviations from the birth plan during labour.

However, I did have a simple, unwritten plan, which was to:
  1. Avoid a C-section;
  2. Avoid an epidural or opiates during labour. The husband had explicit instructions to ask me to wait for 15 minutes if the pain got unbearable and I asked for pain relief;
  3. Labour while standing up; and
  4. Go with the flow tee-hee.
When the OB visited me around 4 PM, nothing had progressed since that morning. She said that if we waited any longer, the baby could "dry up" and we might end up with a Caesarian.
One reason to avoid a Caesarian.
By now I had read enough about induced labours to know that it wasn't the worst thing in the world and if done right, it'll be okay.
If nothing else, an OB in India has probably induced labour in hundreds of women so I'm sure she'll do it right.

I agreed and a bag of Syntocin (synthetic Oxytocin the hormone that kickstarts labour) was added to my IV machine. In a little while, I began to feel a tightness across my abdomen. Unfortunately, all the IV fluids I had received during the day kept making me want to pee so I'd get unhooked to pee. Again, the contractions stalled. At 5 PM, I was told that I will be taken back to the LDR for close monitoring.


As we left the suite, my mum, husband, and I smiled at each other when we realised that we'd be returning as grandmother, father, and mother to a little baby.


Click here for Part III of Childbirth.

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