As part of Eco Child’s Play Labor of Love series on birth stories, natural birth, hospital births, and home births, our writers will be sharing their birthing and pregnancy stories. We’d like to hear your birth stories too, whether you are a mother, father, grandparent, or adoptive parent.
We are encouraging our readers to share their thoughts and birth stories by hosting a giveaway contest.
Entries in the contest are made by leaving a comment or birth story on the Green Options Forum. At the end of the week (6/28), we will randomly pick two winners for this giveaway. Up for grabs are:
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[This post was written by Susie Kim.]
Jeff Jossul says
*scratch scratch scratch*
*scratch scratch scratch*
Someone is scratching my back. It smells early out…
I slowly rolled around and Ha was sitting up against her pillows.
“I think it’s time.”
“Time for what?”
“For the baby coming out.”
“It’s too early for a baby.” I jokingly rolled back over to go back to sleep.
Ha started contractions early that morning, and had been sitting up for at least an hour. We timed the frequency and one came five minutes after the previous one. Ok, that sounds close.
We put our stuff together and we both had a shower. Ha called a cab and we were on our way. I tried to assure Ha that sometimes it’s false labour, perhaps just her body practicing. Apparently, Myranda didn’t need any practice runs.
We arrived at the French-Vietnamese hospital about 8:00. Mom met us at the hospital shortly thereafter. We were checked into a room with another new Mom and we settled in for a bit. Ha was hooked up to a machine to register the baby’s heartbeats and KPa contractions. Every five minutes. This might take a while…
The French-Vietnamese hospital works in conjunction with France and has both Vietnamese and Foreign staff. Most speak French, some speak English. It’s the best medical facility in the city and we were lucky enough to get a nice room with a balcony. Room 303. Just a few paces from the delivery rooms. The staff is friendly and helpful.
Ha stayed in labour all day. She wasn’t dilated enough to even register and her water hadn’t broken yet. Long day.
She stayed in constant labour from six that morning to about two in the afternoon before she was given a shot, and an hour later another, to help along the process. At four she was exhausted but she was almost ready to go. It was hospital policy that she get the epidural without me, so she was about an hour without me. All day the contractions got more painful and intense. She had to wait for 40 second long contractions and we had been waiting all day for it. I should have got her to cut her nails earlier, for now I have open wounds on my back and hands. Girls got some grip! She would lean right into me and hold on tight when she got another wave. She shook in pain and her eyes squeezed tight. Wave after wave after wave… Now I know why they call it labour!
After the epidural, Ha lost her ability to speak English. She understood me and nodded or shook her head, but speaking was lost. Besides stepping out a minute to greet Matt, Phuong Anh, Adam and Nikita, I was permitted to stay the whole time. I was dressed all in white, and since I had long ago discarded my shoes, I had little blue booties to wear on my bare feet. I held her hand as she still grimaced with each new convulsion. It was much better, she wasn’t doubling over anymore. It was close. It was 5:30 now, and Ha just starred at me, if she could open her eyes. She only swore at me once, so I count myself lucky.
At six we were told another two hours. It took an hour and a half. Ha looked totally drained but she did so well when it came down to it. She pushed with all her might, her face turning a deep red and then gasping for breath. I hadn’t been in her classes to know when and how she was to breath, but I did my best to encourage her. At 7:30, it started to come together. One big push, then…
At 7:53, Myranda Margret Hoang Jossul was born, weighing in at just 3 Kgs. (6.6 lbs) She coughed and cried out briefly as she was tossed up on the sterile blue cloth up on Ha’s belly. She was blue, which is typical for a long labour, but she writhed about trying to expel the fluid in her lungs. I got to cut the cord and she was whisked off to be cleaned up a bit. Within a minute, she was pink and besides a cry for the needle and eye drops, she didn’t say another thing. They brought her to me and I held her for the first time. She looked around curiously and stayed very still. So far, so good.
I showed her off to the people waiting outside for us and then spent some time with a new Mom. While Ha was being looked after, we talked to Myranda and she just lay there listening. She looked a little beat up, like she had been through the wringer… oh, right. She has three inch brown curly hair, and as the minutes past, it seemed obvious she had gotten her color from me. Pasty white. Poor girl. Her eyes, one swellen and far from set just yet, are dark blue around the edge and dark green on the inside. She got my ears as well, but it’s hard to tell what else she has inherited just yet. Apparently she’s got long legs, which she did not get from me.
Next, Ha tried to breast feed and although she wasn’t really all that interested at first, she’s now taken to it, although not getting much milk just yet. Myranda is doing just fine, and Mom is as well, although she’s tired and really sore, as to be expected. Today, Mom will come to the house to prey for the new baby up at the temple room on the fourth floor of our house, and at 2, we’ll go visit. They stayed overnight at the hospital but we’ll all be coming home this afternoon or evening.
Susan Vallee says
Congratulations on your daughter! Thanks for sharing your story.
We were celebrating Father’s Day. We went out to dinner across the street so we just walked. We ate Mexican food and it was very yummy. After dinner, we walked around the shops and I felt contractions so I decided to time them without saying anything to my husband. The contractions did get stronger and were consistent. I finally mentioned it to my husband so we decided to walk home. By that time, I was walking slower than before. As we were walking across the street, I felt a little “pop” and thought that my water broke a little bit. It was getting harder to walk home. Finally we made it to the hospital and my baby didn’t want to wait, but of course I had to wait in the triage for about 30 minutes before anyone checked me. The contractions were very strong at this point and when I did get checked, the nurse asked me if I was planning on getting an epidural because if I was then it was too late! I was already at 9cm. I didn’t have an epidural for my first child so I felt that I didn’t need one this time around. I had to to wait for my doctor to come but my baby did not want to wait!! Just in time as soon as the doctor got ready, I was already pushing! After 24 minutes of pushing, my son was born! The great thing was that he and my dad share the same birthday.