Got back to bed and couldn't get back to sleep. It was perhaps 10 to 15 minutes later that the first contraction started. I got to my phone app and started the contraction tracker, thinking that it wouldn't be so soon and thought I'll let Bernard have a little more rest before the real action begins. But I was wrong. I didn't expect the contractions to come in so fast and intense... The first few readings were already like 3-4 minutes apart! Ready-to-go-to-the-hospital kind of timing. I quickly woke Bernard up and asked him to get ready.
We contacted our doula. There was no time for her to come to our place, unlike Faith's birth and we had to meet at the hospital. I like going to the hospital in the wee morning because there's practically no traffic at all. Even then, I had to endure 4 contractions in the car in the most uncomfortable position - yes, I counted, with one just at the door of the hospital. It was slightly past 3 am when we reached the hospital and was so glad to see Doula Catherine waiting for us! She helped me to get to the delivery suite while Bernard went to park the car.
In my prepared birth plan, I had wanted to use the tub for hydrotherapy - the warm water was useful in soothing the contraction pain during Faith's time. However, when the nurse came in to check, I was already 8 cm dilated. "Active labour period" she says and I wasn't allowed to use the tub. And from then I had to be strapped to the monitor and can only stay in the bed. :P
The wait for dilation to 9 cm was rather fast but then it is always the last cm that seems to take forever. The nurse will not allow you to push unless one is 10 cm dilated. And the thing that impedes the development of labour was my very strong waterbag that refused to break. Nurse gave the option to prick the waterbag but we thought we will still want it to be as natural as possible. A few more contractions later, Dr Paul came in and went ahead to prick my waterbag. From then the contractions were even more intense and the urge to start pushing was even stronger...
The nurse quickly informed Dr Paul who was making his rounds in the wards. I was so so glad to see him donning his robe, a sign that I can really start pushing. I can still remember for Faith, it took 2 breathes and pushes for her to be out. For Edward, I lost count. I thank God for His strength and grace to get Edward out. After the long long wait (with me 12 days overdue), it was really a relief to hold Edward in my arms.
Then the nurses started to clean me up and got me ready to be transferred to the ward. I was so looking forward to having my breakfast after all the pushing. The nurses helped me out of bed to clear my bladder but I shockingly passed out a lot of blood instead. Suddenly, I started to feel weak and faint. I was helped to the bed and after consultation with Dr Paul, the nurses put me on drip. I'm not afraid of pain, but I just hate needles!
I was had to be kept under observation for another hour in the delivery suite while Baby Edward was pushed up to the nursery for his tests and assessments. For the record, the statistics for Baby Edward at birth:
Weight: 4.09 kg
Length: 53 cm
Head circumference: 34 cm (vs Jiejie Faith's 3.63 kg, 50 cm and 33 cm)
It could be the big size baby that caused the excessive bleeding and dip in blood pressure (Bernard later told me that my bp plunged to 98). Thank God for His hand upon me and I managed to recover quite fast and the blood pressure was normal in the afternoon.
The healing and recovery of body was also much faster and better compared to the first birth. Thank God for watching over us. And thankful for our family and friends for keeping us in prayer throughout my entire pregnancy and delivery. All glory to God! Amen! :)