My Labour Experience: Then & Now

By Esther Rachel Lai. - 11/09/2015

Before I had Megan, when people ask me "Was giving birth very painful" I'd always reply "No leh! I actually found it quite bearable!" but if people were to ask me the same question now, I'd say "YES IT HURTS LIKE HELL!". 

The labour I went through for Kylie and then Megan were a world of a difference.


I had Kylie when I was nineteen and I was practically fearless. Also, I'd read so much about pregnancy that I knew when my labour was approaching. The night before Kylie's birth, I experienced severe back pains, the urge to use the toilet and loose stools ( some of the signs of early labour ) and told Shane that if I woke him up that night, he'd have to wake up because I think I'm going into labour ( & because Shane slept like a log then ). 

The next morning, I had my routine check up with my gynae and it was during that check up that he told me "You're actually in labour already!" He even asked "You want to give birth today or tomorrow?" we were a little too shocked and before we could reply, he burst my water bag & sent me on my way ( his clinic's at Gleneagles but we chose to deliver at Mount Alvernia because it was significantly cheaper there then ). So with my waters gushing, we took a cab to Mt.Alvernia Hospital & Shane being a first time dad, was literally flustered the whole time. I remember laughing to myself & thinking that he seemed more kanchiong than me even though I'm the one going through labour (I could still laugh then because my contractions had not started yet).

My contractions started shortly after reaching the delivery suite and when it peaked, I recall thinking "this must be it, it's damn painful already. Cannot be anything more painful than this right?" & yet I wasn't screaming in pain or anything, just well, moaning in pain maybe. True enough, I could feel Kylie crowning already but my gynae hadn't reached yet and the midwives didn't dare put my legs up to help me deliver so the whole time they kept asking me to "use the (laughing) gas" for pain relief ( I didn't use epidural for both labours ) but I was so drowsy I told Shane I didn't want to use the gas anymore. Thank goodness my gynae arrived within minutes! They told me to push & I didn't really know how I should push so I didn't give my all, the next thing I know, Kylie was vacuumed out and all was over. It was so easy! 

& in case you were wondering, a vacuum used for delivery looks something like this:
Not this:

& if you're still curious, this is actually how it works:

You're welcome :)

With Kylie's birth, Shane & I both felt the same about it. We were happy but not in the overly joyous sort, it felt so so surreal, like we couldn't really grasp the whole reality that we were now parents ( maybe because we were still so young then ). 

After giving birth to Kylie, I was still full of energy, like I hadn't even gone through labour at all! With Megan however, everything was entirely different!


I was at work when I felt a trickle, thinking that my waters might have broken ( although I wasn't entirely sure since it wasn't a gush but a constant trickle ) I still decided to make a call to my gynae who told me to admit myself into Gleneagles' labour ward so I took a cab from work and told Shane to meet me there. & since I knew more or less what it'll be like, I decided to snapchat the whole labour experience while I could ( video below )!

When I reached, I got changed and the nurse checked to see if it was really my waters that have broken. Even after the test, it was still hard to tell and she had to double check with a senior nurse and check again with my gynae. She did mention then it could be my hind waters that had ruptured ( before that I didn't know that there was actually two water bags - hind waters and fore waters! ). She also checked my cervix and told me that I was only 1cm dilated. When my gynae came, he checked and had initially wanted to send me back home ( "whatttt, false alarm?" I thought to myself ) then he paused and said "I think I better check one more time" & when he did, he said I was 3cm dilated and that if he broke my waters then, I'd go into labour so with that, he broke my waterbag!

Considering how fast labour was with Kylie after my water bag was broken, I expected it to be equally speedy with Megan. In the snapchat, I mentioned that with Kylie, I was put on a Pitocin drip to speed up labour but after thinking about it, I don't think so. I think the wait for Megan seemed longer because with Kylie, I was already in early labour the night before and as for Megan, early labour only started when my gynae broke my water bag ( there are different stages of labour and the first stage consist of early labour & active labour. Early labour is when you're less than 3cm dilated and active labour's when contractions tend to get increasingly intense and more frequent ). So when I was waiting for 12 hours, I was basically waiting to go into active labour.

I mentioned earlier that I felt that my 2 hour labour pains with Kylie was pretty bearable & even at it's peak I wasn't screaming in pain but with Megan, even though my actual labour was only about an hour, I was in exxxxxcruciatinggggg pain. Shane totally didn't see it coming at all. I was screaming at the top of my lungs as if I was going through an exorcism ( you know, those throaty groaning kind of screams? ) & I squeezed Shane's hand so tightly with each contraction that he would wince in pain too every time ( hahaha ). Contractions were SO PAINFUL towards the end that I kept turning from side to side, all the way pulling Shane's hand from one end of the bed to the other AND I was inhaling laughing gas like oxygen! 

Minutes passed and when my gynae came in, he immediately told me to push, it took me a few pushes with ALL OF MY MIGHT and Megan finally entered the world! The relief was indescribable! I cried tears of joy when Megan birthed, I guess because of the whole labour experience but it definitely felt very different from Kylie's birth. (Oh yes, & the first thing I screamed after Megan was born was for Shane to get the camera. HAHAHA! Even the nurses were like "what? what? Oh! Camera!!" & they burst out laughing). 

After birth and after being wheeled to the normal ward however, I was completely spent. I was so tired I remember not having the energy to even lift my hand! When a nurse came to bring me to the toilet, I ended up passing a gigantic blood clot before blacking out in the washroom instead ( that was the first time I'd ever blacked out in my entire life ). My down time with Megan was certainly longer too compared to the time when I had Kylie. I felt weak and tired for an entire week and even now I don't feel like I've fully recovered yet. Now I understand why confinement takes a month. Even confinement this time round, I decided to take it more seriously! Previously, I didn't even get why people say they would scream in labour. It kind of makes me think that my labour with Kylie was "fake" in a sense hahaha!

To end this post off, here's what my 12 hour wait for Megan was like! 

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