The birth: from hell to heaven in 24 hours

Before I tell you about the my baby’s birth experience, I want to remind you all women are different so all birth experiences are different. When I look back I wish I would have done things different. I hope you can read other blogs in order to decide what’s the best for you. Last hours together
How does it feel to give birth? That was my question for 9 months. My last weeks being pregnant I was super anxious. In Costa Rica we get by law a maternity leave of 4 months (1 month before the birth and 3 months after). I got mine at the end of August 2017. I went home and waited for the moment. I tried to enjoy every second left. I read back then that after the birth women experience a duel since we loose a part of our body that we have been carrying for 9 months. Considering that, I did the activities I enjoyed the most: sleep until 11:00 am, cooked my favorite meals, ate a lot of chocolates, traveled on boats, went to the beach showing off my big belly. I also enjoyed every kick my baby did from the inside. A friend of mine offered a photograph session. I was feeling so special.

Kimerly Irons Photography

The day was comming. I woke up Sunday, September 17th feeling ‘wet’ and same feeling Monday, September 18th. Even though I have read that the amniotic sac rupture felt like a lot of water comming out I was for first time pregnant and I had no point of refference. I asked my husband to take me to the hospital. If it was nothing they would just sed me home but I was just not going to take the chance.
We got to the ER in Liberia. A general doctor examinated me. He said he wasn’t sure the ‘bag’ had ripped but he thought I was dilating, between 3 and 4 cm, so he decided to send me to the delivery room. Once there, a gynecologist examimated me again. She said the amniotic sac wasn’t ripped but she thought that the baby didn’t have enough liquid. The problem was that there was no dilating. The doctor from the ER was wrong. The uterus neck was still closed. I asked if I could go home and keep waiting but since I was 39 week pregnant the gynecologist decided to keep me in and wait. They did an exam in which they induced some labor contractions to check if the baby will tolerate them. They weren’t painful at all. After the exam they send me to maternity room. In Costa Rica maternity rooms in public hospitals are shared with 10 other women. We can have company all day and all night but companions don’t have a place to lay down. My husband didn’t want to go home since we live about 40 minutes away from the hospital.We made some arrangements so he could stay in a hotel nearby while we waited. I was in the better hands possible.


The birth
On Tuesday, September 19th a practioner came to examinate me. Later that day the gynecologist saw the ultrasound from the previous day and determined they were going to induce the labor since there was a risk that the baby could be loosing amniotic liquid. He prescribed a prostin gel. That didn’t happen inmediately. I had to ask a couple of times for it since I didn’t want to stay in that hospital more than the necessary. They finally put it around 4 pm. After the gel was introduced I needed to lay down for 2 hours and then wait again. I couldn’t fall asleep again. I was afraid the sac will rip and I wouldn’t notice. I knew from my readings that the gel produces the rupture of the sac and from this ruptute I had 24 hours to deliver or there would be a high risk for an infection. Finnally it happened, the sac ripped at 11:00 pm. It felt like I had a balloom with water on the inside of my tummy and I had pinched it. There was water everywhere. It was driping through my legs. All my clothes were soaking. I told the obstetrician about it.

She was sure that the bag ripped but there was still no dilation. They sent me back to delivery room and not too much time after, the contractions started. For a long time I had questioned myself if I was having contractions and not realizing them. Well… there is nothing like this.
That was a unique pain, not compared to anything else. They began in the lower back and moved to the lower abdominal area.
I couldn’t sleep anymore. I entered into a trance and meditation phase. I rocked myself sitting on top of the hospital bed all night.
At 5 am they examinated me again. I had no sleep for 24 hours, moderate pain for 6 but just 1cm dilation. The obstetrician recommended synthetic oxitocin to speed up the process. Almost inmediately I started having very painful and continued contractions. I tried to use all what I learned from yoga and the labor course. I tried to move my body in different positions. I tried to breath. That pain was just awful. I was able to take a shower. That helped decreasing the pain and increased the time between each contraction. At 8 am I had 2 cm dilation. I wanted to cry but I was afraid they will treat me bad or laugh. By 12 pm I was in hell. There was no movement or breath that could help. I remember standing in front of the hospital bed with the elbows reclined on it. That was the only position that helped.

With each contraction I felted someone was breaking my legs. The worse thing was there was no privacy in that room. I could hear all the noise the other women in labor were doing. A woman had her baby in  bedher since no one came on time to take her to the sterile room, the one at my rigth tried all night but didn’t dilate at the end, the one in my left pushed for two hours and couldn’t deliver. They were both send to surgery. Some women entered way after me and had their babies and I was still there. From all of them I was only separated by screens. I could hear their pain and they could hear mine.
My phone wouldn’t stop ringing. My family and friends were worried because the long time it was taking. God… how much pain can a person put up with? The obstetrician kept telling me to be patient, kept insisting baby was doing ok. It was only taking a longer time.
The staff changed and I remember very well the old obstetrician telling the new one she had recommended a c-section hours ago but the doctor in charge have told her I could keep trying.
At 2:30 pm I was on 6 cm and the doctor passed thrugh. I stopped him and politely said, ‘hello, look I’ve been laboring since last night and I’m only at 6. How much more do I need to suffer in order to you to send me to surgery?’ He didn’t answer.
Around 3pm the obstetrician came back. She recommended me to take another shower. She was going to go and call my husband but examinated me first. In half hour I passed from 6cm to 10 cm and was ready to push. Everybody started running. Up until that moment my husband was coming and leaving the small room often. To be honest he wasn’t the best labor company. He kept coming in and out and the last time he left, hours ago, the nurses didn’t let him come back. I labored alone. They finnally let him in for the push. I got up on the delivery table and tried 3 or 4 times. The obstetrician cut the perineum and the doctor used a sucker. They tried also to use the force of their bodies to pull down the baby through the birth canal. But none of these was working.

Finnaly after 16 hours they decided to send me on an emergency c-section. It felt forever the minutes from the labor room to the surgery room. The surgeon kept telling me not to push anymore but my body couldn’t stop doing it. They asked me to sit down to put the anesthesia but it was impossible for me. I laid on my side and felt the needle. It made me jump. One minute later there was no more pain. Is weird how, even I had no pain I could feel the hands of the doctor ripping the skin and pulling the baby out. At 3:22 pm I heard for first time my baby’s cry. I exploded on tears. Monica was finally here. I had gotten to heaven.

*In Costa Rica epidural is not offered to pacients in labor in public hospitals.


Also Read: Post Partum After a C-Section

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