Our son was born.

Similar to my memories of OB rotations while in medical school, my labour and delivery experience was full of painful screamings and jokes about “poop and baby coming out at the same time”, as my nurse said in a funny way “you know that this can’t be changed as physiology doesn’t allow that, right?”. Haha, yeah, I know, when you push down and your abdominal pressure increases, both orifices open up for passage. Sometimes a third orifice also opens – I heard someone was able to push Foley out as well.

Several lessons learned – first, would you rather have a practitioner with 25 years experience to do the procedure on you or a resident who just came out of medical school? I thought I bypassed that choice by choosing a private practice as my primary OB, but I was wrong as the very last minute a resident showed up at bedside and vacuumed my baby out – at the end of the day, this was a teaching hospital and residents need to learn from doing.

Secondly, epidurals are god-send. I got my “last-minute” epidural just fine but I might not be this lucky next time. I was offered epidural when the cervix was 3cm dilated but I declined it thinking pain is still durable. Later when the pain became not that tolerable, I asked for morphine – and then things went downhill. Because once I got the morphine, I felt an overwhelming flush of warmth and I had to lie down for some sleep which cost me the mobility. The only way to keep the pain under control during labour is to sit up or stand or walk around. It turned out lying down on a bed is the worst position for labor pain. So once the morphine wore off and I was still lying down with limited ability to move due to the drowsiness from morphine, I was really left with the only choice of epidurals as the pain became really unbearable after another pelvic exam. Considering I was induced with contractions coming at every 2 minutes for the last 6 hours and with oxytocin running at its highest possible dosage, I asked for an epidural. Once it was done, my cervix changed to fully dilated upon exam. Luckily, I was able to feel the contractions and push without feeling the pain. The funny thing was that initially, I was still able to feel severe pain from contractions on the right side due to the catheter inserted was likely on the left side in the spine canal; after I turned onto my right side for a few minutes, the magic juice of anaesthesia dripped down due to gravity to the right side and then my right side pain was gone. However, I pushed for 2 hours under epidural and baby still not out so they had to use vacuuming. I don’t feel too much regret for enduring the labor pain for many hours without epidural as it might slow down labour and I wanted to wait until I absolutely needed it but next time I might just have it once cervix turned out to be three centimetres as I might not have that much time for active labour for second babies.

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