Today is supposed to be my due date, but Alexis is already 2.5 weeks old!
It was 7pm; I was out to dinner with my good friend Pam on 2/16 at local favorite restaurant; Almond right by my office. We had just ordered our meal and started to catch up on our whereabouts since we haven’t seen each other in awhile. Pam had just taken her first bite of hanger steak when I felt a warm gush of fluid down there, and it had continued to flow. So I quickly rushed to the bathroom and realized that my water broken!
What was going through my mind at that point was “yeahhhhhhhh right…. this is SOOOOOOO not happening! It’s only 2/16 and I am not due until 3/6!” Anyway, I told Pam what happened and we hurried out of Almond as quickly as possible without making a scene and tried to hail me a cab right away. The first call I made was to my doula, asking for her advice since we had been working on my birth plan for the past month. She suggested that I go home first to try and start the labor on my own (which is what I had wanted to do) and see from there. I called Simon next and he rushed to gather my hospital bag, along with the registration papers for the hospital.
It felt like the longest cab ride of my life… I finally made it home 45 mins later and called my doctor who recommended that I can labor at home for a couple of hours but said I should check into the hospital by midnight since my water had already broke. My doula recommended I try some natural methods to stimulate labor such as a warm shower, 2 acupressure points on the waist and ankles, walking, stairs and etc. but nothing was working. We finally decided to make our way to the hospital and got admitted into triage.
Since I was tested positive for group B strep, which is a bacteria that has no effect on the mother but if it’s passed through to the baby during delivery it can be very harmful. It was a real curve ball we weren’t expecting. Since I have GBS, it caused my water had break at 37th week, and I had to be hooked up to an IV and continuous flow of Penicillin the whole time during labor. I was also under the clock and my doctor had given me a time limit of about 24 hours to have the baby. If I didn’t have GBS, then I’d have the freedom to labor at home for as long as possible and can avoid an induction. Being induced was not on my birth plan, and I had read that Pitocin induced contractions hurt a lot more than natural contractions and was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain.
During triage, a resident had checked me and I was only 1cm dilated and 50% enffaced. I had a long way to go to get to 10cm and to have my cervix 100% thinned out. The OB came in shortly and suggested Pitocin right away but we really wanted to buy more time so she gave us a couple of hours. At the delivery room, I was already exhausted because it was around 3 in the morning on Friday and we haven’t slept since Wednesday night. My doula came in shortly and assisted me in trying to get my contractions started naturally but still nothing had worked. At 6 am, my OB came in to push for an induction again, since I was still not in labor yet we decided to start the Pitocin induction then.
The contractions got started at 7am and got more intense at a rapid rate. Every time a contraction came, Simon and my doula would push my pelvic bone together which really helped me ease the pain. They got more intense at around noon on Friday so the doctor checked me again to see if I was progressing. I was 2 cm dilated and 70% enffaced, so there was not much progress but the labor went on. A couple of hours later our doctor came in again and suggested an epidural. I was a little hesitated at first because I was handling the contractions fine (with help of course) but decided to get the epidural. As soon as it was in, I got some much-needed rest and went straight to sleep. My doula was so attentive the entire time, but Simon had decided to watch the Knicks game while I was asleep. Funny how Jeremy Lin is now part of my labor story!
11pm Friday night came quickly and the doctor had woken me up to check my progress again. Much to our amazement, I was already 8cm dilated and 100% enffaced, not much longer until we would all get to meet Baby Wu! Since the doctor was busy attending another birth, within the next hour I felt an urge to push like I had to go to the bathroom but I knew it was the baby descending downwards. At around midnight, the nurses and doctors came in ready to have me deliver as I was fully dilated and +3 station which meant the baby’s head was not that far away… and I was mentally ready for this! It felt like a big relief when I was finally told to push and I had remembered to keep my face relaxed while focusing on my bottom. The doctor had warned me prior that since it was my first birth, the pushing part would take a long time. But 14 minutes of pushing later, we heard Alexis cries for the first time and she was born! We had skin-to-skin contact right away as I was eager to start breastfeeding and Simon had the privilege of cutting the umbilical cord. It was a long process but sooooo worth it to be able to finally meet our daughter face to face at 1:11am on 2/18/12.