It’s been almost 4 weeks since our sweet little son came to this world, bringing so much love and joy into our lives. Words cannot describe how incredibly happy and blessed I feel all day every day since his birth!
A little bit of background before I share the actual birth story… I had this huge fear of childbirth my entire life (ok, maybe more like half of my life). The fear never went away, I just buried it deep down… until we found out that I was pregnant earlier this year. Since then I seriously had to change my way of thinking about childbirth and condition my mind with positive thoughts. And guess what? Despite my fear of childbirth, I was set on med-free natural birth. I know, I don’t really make sense! But here’s the thing… I absolutely cannot stand needles! And from what I heard, they poke the biggest and thickest needle into your back! Eeek, no, thank you! I will go without it (or at least, I’ll try my best!) Thus the quest for natural birthing methods had begun.
Luckily, when I was attending Food & Wine Conference in Florida last year, I met a fellow blogger and a new mom, Dianna from The Kitchen Prep. She told me to look into Hypnobirthing method for natural birth and how it helped her. (Thank you so much, Dianna, for that!!!)
The curious soul that I am, I immediately researched about it, and read lots of great testimonials. To learn more about the program, I read their book and I really loved their philosophy and techniques. I also found hypnobirthing instructor in my area and convinced Garrat to take the course with me (3-4-hour sessions for 3 days!!). Trust me, it wasn’t easy, but with a little bit of nagging, he finally agreed to go. The best investment ever! I’m telling ya, we both learned a lot from the course and felt empowered. I think the name of the program is quite hippie, and if it was up to me, I’d call it “calm birthing” or something.
Anyway, here’s how it all went down.
It was around 9pm on New Year’s day, at my 38th week of pregnancy. Garrat and I decided to work on our breathing techniques (long-and-slow-inhale-and-exhale-kind-of-breathing). After all, my due date was getting closer and we haven’t really practiced any of the breathing techniques, which is imperative for our success. After a few deep breaths, I felt like my water broke, but I hoped I was just being paranoid. I immediately ran to the bathroom, and BOOM! lots of water came out. I was in complete shock, began shaking uncontrollably and cried like a baby. I called my mom who was in Australia at the time, visiting my sister, and was coming in a few days. I cried that I’d go into labor without her! (<- Yep, I’m such a child!) Talking to my mom and sister somewhat calmed me down, and Garrat did a great job reminding me to stay calm with deep relaxing breaths. Then the reality set in, and I started laughing through my tears, because it also meant we were going to meet our little son soon, like REALLY SOON! As I calmed down, I called the hospital, and they told me to come in within 2 hours.
Luckily, earlier that day, I was preparing my hospital bag and everything was laid out on the couch ready to go. I even wrote a detailed birth preference that afternoon, which is actually hilarious if you think about it now. I didn’t use it, as it was all written assuming everything goes without any special circumstance. And water-breaking was not in my plan! 🙂
Anyway, after we prepared our bags and installed the car seat (I know, it wasn’t installed yet!), we decided to lie down to relax for a bit. We turned off the lights and lied on the couch for literally less than 5 minutes. We couldn’t relax, so off to the hospital we went!
After we settled in at the hospital around midnight, I told the nurse I would like to wait for the labor to start naturally and we’d prefer to rest till morning. Our wishes were granted, I put my eye mask on and we slept till 7am! Still no contractions, no pain, nothing… Just as if it’s another day, except it’s NOT. The doctor wanted to start the induction no later than 9am, because they wanted me to have the baby within 24 hours from the time my water broke.
Well, by 9am there was still no sign of labor, so we started Pitocin with dosage at 2 (it could go up to 20!) with the hope that labor will kick in with a little bit of nudge. Couple hours had passed and there were still no contractions. I kept asking my nurse how does contraction feel like. “It’s like cramping”, she said. I have no cramping, no pain, no discomfort whatsoever. Never did I imagine that I’d want a pain so badly!
At round noon, my doctor stopped by and said that I should be dilating 1cm every hour from now on to have the baby naturally. By 7pm, I should be dilated at least to 7cm. Jeez, quite a pressure! “I’ll do my best”, I said.
That afternoon, Garrat and I took naps, walked miles and miles around the hall, bounced on the ball, played UNO, watched TV, basically we were just killing time! We also started increasing the dosage of Pitocin every hour. By around 5pm, I started having noticeable cramping on and off, I guess that’s what contractions are! Nothing unbearable. But around 7pm, contractions got stronger to the point I had to pause during contractions. Finally some progress?!
When the contractions became stronger, I absolutely couldn’t stand being in bed. I felt so helpless and in so much pain when I was in bed, so I had to be walking, or sitting, or bouncing on the ball. I also tried taking a bath in the Jacuzzi tub, which wasn’t very helpful, but we were willing to try anything to pass time and focus my mind on something different. I tried to do some hypnobirthing relaxation, but again I couldn’t lie down to relax, it was too painful. Instead, I listened to my birth affirmations, which goes something like this “I’m relaxed and happy that my baby is finally coming to me. I’m focused on smooth and easy birth. I trust my body to know what to do.”
At 9pm, my doctor stopped by again. It’s been 24 hours since my water broke, and I had barely dilated to 5cm. But since my baby’s heart rate was good and my blood pressure was normal, he said that we can wait till morning if I want to. And if there is no progress by morning, we’ll have to have a C-section right away. OMG, I was ecstatic that he gave us more time! Yet, I was so worried that I won’t make any progress. Doctor also told me that I could get an epidural now and sleep for a few hours. He thought maybe I’m not relaxing enough to let the contractions do its job. Epidural sounded such a great idea. I was getting tired, hungry and, most importantly, I was worried that maybe I needed to relax to get things going.
Garrat, on other hand, wasn’t on board. He suggested taking a short walk in the hall before making the decision. I never gave him an answer; instead I just gave him a dirty look (according to him!). My contractions were quite strong by then, but I did get short breaks in between to catch a breath. Thank God!!
And during those short breaks, I was trying to think straight whether I should get an epidural. Before I made up my mind, out of the blue, I got this urge to push. I thought I needed to use the restroom, but decided to let the nurses know just in case. They quickly came in and checked to see if I made any progress. Sure enough, I had dilated to almost 8cm. Whoa! That was quick! After a long day of nothing, we finally made some significant progress!
Yet it was still too early to push, so they coached me to breath through the contractions and NOT to push. It was around 10:20pm, I was in full labor, screaming and cussing, both in English and Mongolian. I remember telling Garrat that I should get an epidural, but he is like “Let’s wait till 11pm and if there is no progress, you’ll get an epidural.” He probably got another dirty look from me.
I had nurse Mary on my left, coaching me through breathing, and Garrat on the right for emotional support. From all the screaming, I was so thirsty, so I asked for something cold. Mary went and brought me some popsicles, but they were too sweet and I asked for crushed ice. When Mary came back with a cup of ice, I smelled strong coffee and I yelled, “I smell coffee. I don’t wanna smell coffee!” I swear, I thought someone else came in with a cup of coffee or something, but apparently Mary had a sip of coffee when she grabbed me some ice. Oh, bless her heart! I really didn’t mean to be mean. Then while she was gone to get some gum, I asked Garrat to coach me through breathing. Well, when he did, I told him, “Never mind, you ‘re exhaling too strong!” Whaha
I was such a piece of work, I’m telling ya!
Also there was a girl checked in earlier that day. She was right in the next room. And in between contractions, I was so worried that I’m scaring c*** out of her with my screaming. Later I learned she was sent home, so I didn’t need to worry about it.
At around 11pm, I was dilated to 9cm. Yay, more progress! I kept doing what I was doing and decided not to get an epidural. It wasn’t easy by any means. Actually, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! At one point, I told Garrat that I’m only having one child. No more kids, please!
My sweet nurse Mary kept comforting me, “That’s the girl! You’ve got this!” Meanwhile, another nurse set up the room for delivery. With all the extra carts with bunch of tools for delivery and baby station pulled in the room, I knew things are getting real! It’s happening now!
I kept asking if they had called the doctor yet, and when can I push??? Oh my gosh, I couldn’t wait to push! And the next thing you know, doctor was there and I was told we’re ready for the baby! That was simply music to my ears! After one failed push (I call it a practice push), I got a hang of it. I remember the joyful cheering of my husband and nurses, “Keep pushing! He’s almost out!” With such an encouragement, I was so motivated to push harder each time! And with just 3 big pushes in less than 5 minutes, my sweet little boy was born at 12:04am, weighing in at 7lbs 13oz and 20 inches long. When they placed this tiny little munchkin on my chest, I was overwhelmed with love and happiness. I felt complete! I didn’t cry as I had expected though, I just stared at this perfect little human that I get to call mine! He was PERFECTION!
Garrat and I couldn’t agree on the name during my pregnancy, but each of us had our picks. So, we agreed to pick the name after our son is here. On the day he was born, we wrote our two names on two separate papers, put them into a bag full of rice (Mongolian style!), shook the bag and whatever name stuck out on the surface was the first name. That’s how our son got his name, Grant Temujin.
Are you still reading? I hope I didn’t bore you too much. I could go on and on talking about all the progress he has been making so far, but I better stop here. If you’re interested in more baby posts, let me know down below. Maybe I’ll add a new section on the blog for baby stuff.
Thanks so much for reading my story! ❤️