October 31, 2020: I’m currently more than a month out from giving birth and I know I better write this story now before I forget any more of it.
(Warning: Long read ahead. Grab a cup of cocoa and get comfy :).)
My labour symptoms started on the Monday evening after dinner when I was relaxing in the glider in the living room. I was 38 weeks and one day pregnant. I was sitting there and felt some cramps. They felt like light period cramps. My regular periods are usually painless without painful cramps so this slight cramping stood out to me.
The next day, Tuesday, when laying in bed still before waking up, I felt a quick rush of liquid in my underpants. I didn’t think anything of it. When I got out of bed to use the restroom, I found that my underwear had some brown-ish fluid on it. It was like a splatter and definitely old dried blood. I was immediately a bit worried and scared.
(I didn’t want to start my first paragraph with this, but we actually had sex on Sunday when I was freshly 38 weeks pregnant. I believe this was the potential kickstart to the start of the labour. I knew that having sex and having semen inside of me could potentially cause labour to start early because semen contains prostaglandin which softens the tissues in the cervix. We weren’t trying to induce labour early at all; it was just to spend time with each other knowing that the baby would be arriving in less than two weeks.)
Anyway, after washing my face and brushing my teeth, I told Ken about the dried blood. He told me to call my OB’s office to see what they would say. I actually wanted to call the hospital instead because if there was anything serious, the hospital would know what to do and admit me if necessary.
Thus, I called Mackenzie Health’s labour and delivery number. We had their number written on our whiteboard. A nurse picked up right away. I explained my situation that I was already pre-registered to give birth at MH and that I was 38 weeks and two days pregnant. I told her I had some brown discharge on my underwear. She asked me if I had had an internal examination recently. I said no. I told her I had an ultrasound though (a growth checkup). She asked if it was an external one and I said yes. She said that shouldn’t be the cause of the blood but that she didn’t really know my situation and it wouldn’t hurt for me to come in to get it checked out. I was actually surprised at her suggestion. I didn’t think the discharge warranted a visit to the hospital, but I guess they wanted to be sure and didn’t know what my condition was like over the phone.
I then called my OB. Luckily, their office was already open at 10-ish in the morning. When the receptionist picked up, I told her my situation. She told me that spotting is quite common at 38 weeks. It meant that the baby could be ready to come soon and that I should monitor it. I should only go to the hospital if there was active red bleeding going on. I was relieved that I didn’t have to go to the hospital.
In the meantime, I was already Googling symptoms of labour and what the brown spotting could mean. I learned that it could be my mucus plug coming out which meant that my cervix was starting to dilate (and labour was imminent).
I continued doing my thing and continued to monitor the spotting.
After eating dinner that night and sitting in the glider, I again noticed the slight cramps. I don’t remember whether it was the Monday or Tuesday after mentioning the cramps to my mom, but she said it might be the start of baby’s arrival. But when I told her about the dried blood, she did suggest that it could possibly be a sign of baby’s arrival.
That Tuesday night into Wednesday morning when I was sleeping, I noticed the occasional cramping hadn’t gone away. It continued as I slept on my left side and was a tad uncomfortable.
When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I remember joking to Ken that we might have a baby that evening. He was clearly shocked and not ready to hear that. We were 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant at that time and we both had the idea in our heads that first-time moms don’t give birth early and are usually late. His sister gave birth nine days after her due date. We were thinking I would be giving birth either after the due date or closer to it.
I remember seeing more brown discharge come out on Wednesday. At one point, the discharge was definitely stringy and mucusy. I knew then that my mucus plug was indeed loosening.
I started to monitor the cramps that continued that afternoon. I messaged my friend C about how her labour started and if it had started with cramps. Ken also messaged family members about their early labour symptoms and if anyone had started with cramps. Everyone’s symptoms are different though.
I remember sitting on the sofa in the baby’s room at around 3 p.m. and starting to time the cramps on the Baby Tracker app on my phone. By then, I knew they would be starting to be classified as contractions although they weren’t painful just yet. I also remember at that point that the transcript that I had procrastinated on was not going to be worked on any time soon. It was due the following Monday and I knew I had to make arrangements to get it finished by someone else. I was in no state of mind to be working on anything at that point. I messaged my court reporter friend who gladly took on the assignment for me. (It serves me right for always procrastinating on transcripts! I could have had that transcript as my final assignment before giving birth — little did I know lol.)
My contractions continued throughout the afternoon. They still weren’t painful yet but were definitely coming in shorter intervals. I knew from reading pregnancy resources that I should labour at home as much as possible and not to go to the hospital too early. If I went to the hospital early and I wasn’t in active labour yet, they would turn me away to go home. Considering we were in a pandemic, it wouldn’t have been safe 0r wise for me to travel back and forth excessively. From the intervals, my contractions were happening about every 15 minutes for 30 seconds. It wasn’t time yet. However, they soon increased to about every 10 minutes and then five minutes.
By 5 p.m., they were coming in more frequently.
I distinctly remember by dinner time that I was starting to squat every time the contraction came in.
(Oh, throughout the day, I was also emptying my bowels constantly. I went to the bathroom a total of five times before we headed to the hospital that night. My body was getting ready for the delivery.)
During dinner, I couldn’t even sit down for more than a few minutes before I had to stand up and squat. The contraction caused me to do that naturally. I also wasn’t very hungry. The next set of contractions made me get on all fours and kneel on the floor. We had a yoga ball in the living room (which I didn’t even bounce on much to induce labour starting at 36 weeks) and when the contraction came in, I used it to lean on and wait for the contraction to pass.
The contractions were coming in every four to five minutes for sure by that point and lasting about 30 seconds. My mom said it was probably go time, but I wanted to labour at home more until it was more unbearable. We decided to call the hospital at 10 p.m. or so to ask for directions.
Before the call though, I went to take a shower. I knew that after we went to the hospital and I gave birth, I wouldn’t be able to have a proper shower for weeks (Chinese tradition for the new mom not to touch water until after a month). The contractions were coming in waves now and I knew that after a wave, I had about four minutes of calmness before it started again. I had a contraction in the shower too. I squatted and kneeled in the shower to wait for it to pass. Luckily, I had already washed my hair the day before — it was as if I knew something was happening soon that I knew to wash my hair a day prior.
We had our hospital bag packed already by the door. I think Ken was still in denial about the baby coming soon. I remember at some point in the night telling him something along the lines of “The baby doesn’t care about your deadlines and is coming whether you like it or not.” He was still in the throes of his work deadlines and massively stressed. He said he would send his out of office e-mail once we were actually getting out the door to the hospital.
By 10 or 11 p.m. when I couldn’t take the contractions anymore more and more, we called the labour and delivery line. Ken explained my situation and how close my contractions were. They told us to shower, pack our bags, and come in when we were ready. They told us to come through the emergency doors since we would be arriving after hours.
At this point, the contractions were so bad that when it was happening, I had to hold on to either sides of the wall in the hallway. It was almost like I had to hold on to them because I was drunk — can you imagine that picture in your head?
Anyway, I went to the bathroom again for a number two. My bowels definitely were clearing themselves out really well. When I finished, the contractions immediately improved and I didn’t feel so in pain anymore. I almost wanted to stay home and not head to the hospital yet because I was feeling so much better. The release really helped to decrease the contractions, miraculously. However, my mom said that it was still a better idea to head to the hospital. It was only a matter of time before the contractions would start again and be painful.
Thus, at about midnight on Wednesday heading into Thursday morning, we took our bags, double checked everything, and headed out into the dark night to the hospital. Our hospital was only 10 minutes’ drive away. It was when our bags were in the car (along with the car seat) that Ken sent his out of office e-mail to officially announce he wasn’t going to be available for the next two days — it was surreal to him that this was happening so fast).
Luckily, because I pooped, I was able to manage the contractions in the car on the way to the hospital. There was only one contraction which I was able to bear out even while seated. The contractions were so intense that every time they happened, I couldn’t remain seated. I had to stand up and squat or kneel. The pooping really helped me manage staying in the passenger seat during the car ride.
We arrived at the hospital parking lot and parked the car. We then grabbed all of our bags (one carry-on luggage, duffel bag, car seat, my usual backpack) and entered the emergency entrance area of the hospital. We had our masks on (COVID-19 precautions).
(Because of COVID-19, I was only allowed one support person who would stay with me for the entire duration of the stay. We had to take everything we needed from the car with us. We weren’t allowed to leave and re-enter the hospital. My support person was allowed to go downstairs to the cafeteria to buy food or order delivery at the front door but otherwise was not allowed to leave the hospital and come back.)
When we entered the emergency doors, we checked in with the reception. I was obviously visibly pregnant and in labour, so both the security guard and receptionist knew what we were arriving for. The receptionist asked us to take off our masks, throw it out, and put on a new one after sanitizing our hands (they provided the new mask). This was an interesting protocol I didn’t expect. They wanted everyone to have clean masks that were up to standard. Ken showed them my health card and we checked in. We were told to go to the 5th floor to the labour and delivery unit.
(Also because of the pandemic, we hadn’t been on a hospital tour of the labour and delivery unit. Many hospitals offer tours of the labour and delivery facilities prior to the mom giving birth, but these were discontinued during the pandemic. It would have been a nice treat to have that tour. Thus, it was our first time to MH’s L&D unit.)
Once through the hallways and up the elevator, we arrived at the doors of the labour and delivery unit where we spoke through a speakerphone system to be let inside. Once inside, we checked in at the desk. It took a little bit of time for them to go through my information on the system. Then we were led to another room with several partitioned areas where we waited for a nurse/doctor to check my labour progress. Luckily, during all of this, my contractions had subsided and I wasn’t writhing in pain while waiting.
Once inside the partitioned area, a nurse instructed me to take off my clothes and change into a gown and lie on the bed so that they could check me. Hospital gowns can be so confusing. I did so and then laid on the bed. I was uncomfortable and the contractions still came and went.
She told me to breathe out in through my nose and blow oug through my mouth instead of the quick bursts that resembled hyperventilation. I thought the quick exhales helped me manage the contractions actually, but after she said this I tried to slow the exhalations down and blow air out through my mouth.
The nurse got my information and went through my pre-registration information, including how many weeks along I was, my gestational diabetes status, if I was allergic to any medications, etc. When she asked if it was going to be a boy or girl and I told her it would be a surprise, she was so delighted to hear that we would be surprised. I know that not many people opt for that route nowadays.
When the doctor came in and she checked me, she was surprised to see that I still had my underwear on. I actually didn’t know I had to take that off too. She gave me a bit of a weird look when she saw my underwear was still on. Anyway, she stuck her hand inside of me and said that I was 3 cm dilated, 90% effaced, and that I was in active labour. She said, “Yeah, she’s in active labour.” So they admitted me. After a bit of time, they took us to our birthing suite. (I was so shocked that I was already 3 cm dilated! I was hoping for at least 1 cm and that I wouldn’t be sent home, so 3 cm was an amazing discovery. No wonder I was in so much pain.)
The nurse asked me if I needed an epidural, and I said I wanted to go natural if possible. She put in an IV tube in my left wrist anyway. It was for if I changed my mind and a standard thing to put in in case anything arose.
2:20 a.m. -ish. The birthing suite was huge! It was a big spacious room with a bed in the middle, a big washroom with a tub, a flat screen TV on the wall, a window facing the parking lot, and tables and shelves for various items. There was also the box on the table that would house the baby once he/she arrived (so exciting to see). There were also two armchairs next to the window, a table, and a power outlet. The armchair was perfect for Ken to rest in.
Since I wanted a natural birth, the nurse instructed me to walk as much as possible to allow the baby to come down. Our room faced the nurses’ station and we were told to ask for help if we needed anything. I loved that there was a washroom right inside of our suite. It was so convenient to go to the washroom (not that I really needed to much); I could conveniently go without closing the door lol.
The TV was playing some generic TV show. After a while, I decided to turn down the lights (I read that darkness is best for labour). I turned on music from YouTube that encouraged labour which made the room feel nice and peaceful. I kept walking around the room. I was super diligent about it because I wanted the natural birth. The contractions had picked up again and I constantly used the bed to lean against on for support.
(It was really cold inside the room. We couldn’t find a thermostat to turn up the heat which is why I was wearing my coat backwards to keep warm.)
At some point when the nurse came in to check on me, they mentioned that the epidural was available for me whenever and if I wanted it. They weren’t pushy about it but definitely wanted me to know that it was available if I wanted it. I kept walking the room and pushing through the contractions. At some point, they were so painful that I needed to lean on Ken for support. I had to pinch his arms and aggressively grab him for support and to go through the contractions. One of the nurses asked if I wanted a yoga ball which I said yes to. The yoga ball actually wasn’t that useful after all. I couldn’t sit down on it and felt better standing and walking.
The nurses came in twice that night to check in on the baby’s heartrate. They placed the fetal doppler on my belly to listen to the heart rate.
The second time the second nurse did it, she couldn’t find the heart beat easily so she had me lie down on the bed for the strap on the belly to monitor it (a non-stress test, I believe it’s called). Then I was released after about 10 minutes. The baby’s heart beats were recorded on the computer system behind me.
Morning came around and soon sunlight filled the room. Ken spent the night sleeping on and off on the armchair but was mostly awake to accompany me.
The next time the doctor checked me, I was only 6 cm dilated (I don’t recall what time this was, but it was definitely in the morning now). I had my blood sugar checked regularly and they were always in the 6 range which was a bit high.
When I was told that I was only at 6 cm and that my blood sugars were rising, it was recommended for me to take an epidural. They didn’t want the baby to have high blood sugar because it meant I had to take a drug to calm it down. I definitely didn’t want that. I also couldn’t imagine being only at 6 cm, still needing to get to 10 cm, and then needing the energy to push the baby out. I thought about it for a while. I asked Ken for his opinion. I asked about if I would still be able to feel the contractions when pushing with the epidural which the nurse said I would be able to. I then decided to get the epidural. I managed as long as I could to get to 6 cm naturally, but the pain and time was definitely getting to me. By getting the epidural, I could finally rest up before pushing as well.
Ken called the nurse back in where we told them my decision. Soon, the male anesthesiologist came in (up to this point, all the medical staff were females) — not that it matters but it was just something I remember. He was so eloquent and calm and told me what the epidural process would entail. The staff at MH were so kind and professional. They commented on my choice of music and how it made the space feel so tranquil.
I sat on the edge of the bed where they prepped for the epidural insertion. The most important thing about epidural insertion is that I had to remain motionless when they inserted it to avoid having it put incorrectly. I was told that there would be a freeze, a cold sensation, and then a needle going in. After they applied the cold freeze, I felt a contraction coming on, so I told the nurse. The nurse told the anesthesiologist and they waited for the contraction to subside. Once it subsided, the needle went in. It wasn’t that bad and felt like a pinch.
I was then laid on my back on the bed. No more walking around. The catheter was also put in. I remember being cold and shaking so hard on the bed before the catheter went in. First, I was shaking because I was cold. Second, I was really scared. I was scared that the catheter would be inserted incorrectly or that it would hurt. I was just very shaky the whole time but after it was put in, I was fine. I guess from my memory of my dad’s experience of finding out about his own catheter, it shook me up too.
The epidural took a few minutes to kick in. After that, I was able to relax and could barely feel any of the contractions anymore.
Oh, by this time in the day, the next shift of nurses had arrived. I remember how kind one of the nurses was. She had a bag of ice and she put it on my arms, hips, legs, toes gradually to check if I had sensation in certain parts of the body. I could feel the coldness of the ice on my arms no problem but closer to my waist and legs, I couldn’t feel the ice. It was to ensure that the epidural was working fine. She did this at least two times to make sure that the epidural was still working.
The epidural really helped to make the contractions feel only like cramps again. They were so mild. I could only feel the really big ones which felt like bigger cramps. They took the edge off completely and I was able to rest and actually fall asleep.
I remember the nurses giving me the peanut ball between my legs to help open up my cervix to speed things along.
(Oh, also sometime throughout the morning, I had my waters broken up to speed up the labour. This was before the epidural was inserted. The doctor poked through and broke my water. There was not a big trickle when my water was broken. However, when I sat up for the epidural, I remember a much bigger gush of warm water coming through as the epidural freeze was inserted. I also remember how kind the nurses were to change the pad every so often once the water had soaked through. They were so professional and quick about it. I felt so well taken care of.)
The peanut ball was not too comfortable.
(Oh, I had the blood pressure pump on my right arm and it would automatically inflate and take my BP every 15 minutes. The clock on the wall was right in front of my bed so I knew exactly when the BP pump went off every 15 minutes on the dot. The peanut ball made it uncomfortable to lay on either side. I had the IV drip on the left side and the BP on my right side so I couldn’t lay comfortably on either side without squishing my arms.)
I remember it was about 1 p.m. when the two nurses went off on their lunch break. It was time to change the peanut ball to the other side because my arm was getting numb. I remember looking at the clock and waiting for them to come back from their lunch break, thinking it would be a quick one. No, their lunch break was more than an hour. I finally asked the stand-in nurse to change the peanut ball for me. At this point, I had napped and rested enough to start feeling restless and wanting the doctor to come in to check my progress.
The next progress check was about 8 cm which was frustrating to see that my cervix hadn’t progressed to more than that. They continued to monitor me.
I remember naively thinking when we were admitted to the hospital at 1 a.m. ish that perhaps we would have the baby by 6 a.m. Well, it was definitely more than 6 p.m. by then and I was at 9 cm. It was a long time.
Ken went downstairs a few times to the cafeteria to get a coffee and food. We had brought some dates, peanuts, and boiled eggs from home. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything. I had water, some watered down apple juice (to prevent from having too much sugar), and ice chips. Miraculously though, I wasn’t hungry or had any appetite. It was getting close to 24 hours of me having eaten my last meal. I guess I had the IV drip though which kept me hydrated.
It took three hours for me to progress from 9.5 cm to 10 cm. By the evening, the daytime nurses were finished their shift and the night shift came in. The same nurse from the time I was admitted came in and was surprised I was still here and hadn’t given birth yet lol. Also, the day nurses said bye to me and that they wanted to see whether I had a boy or girl in the morning. That was really sweet of them. Both nurses were so kind. I really felt the kindness and love.
We were hoping to have the baby by evening, but the nurse gave us the estimate of probably three hours more of waiting. It was going to be interesting to see whether the baby wanted to come before midnight or after midnight, kicking it into the next day or not.
Finally, I was told I was 10 cm dilated. I don’t remember when but I was told to inform them if I felt a pressure down there and if I felt like I wanted to go number two. There wasn’t any sensation yet, but I was starting to fart more often. The delivery doctor was attending to another birth, I believe, so I kept waiting which was a good thing. I remember the doctor checking my progress and said that the baby’s head was coming down lower. The second time she checked, she said the head was even lower which was even better. All the waiting around turned out to be a good thing since it allowed time for the baby to move down further, which meant less pushing for me when the doctor was ready.
(Throughout the night of labour, I also remember hearing babies cry from the other rooms. It was neat to be able to hear when a baby was born while we were waiting for ours to arrive.)
I continued to monitor my sensation of wanting to push. Like the contractions, we kept a record of how often I wanted to push. Once I wanted to push every five minutes, it was time. Ken kept track of this for me on his phone every time I said there was pressure. When the pressure intensified, the nurses knew it was time. The doctor and other nurses came in. They turned on all the lights including the bright surgical lights that aimed right at me. I felt like I was the show lol. There were a total of three new medical staff in the room and I could hear them busying around the room to get ready for baby’s arrival.
I was told to push my legs up and hold them using my hands. I didn’t like this very much because I had to focus on pushing down while still having my hands hold on to myself. I’m glad that afterwards, Ken held my left leg back while the nurse on the right held my right leg back. This was so much better.
I was told to push like I was pushing a poo out.
(Oh, and at one of the checkpoints before the night shift came in, the doctor said that she felt my cervix had a “lip” and that it would have to be pushed back during delivery. I was momentarily afraid that the discovery would lead to an emergency C-section if the lip was an obstruction to the head coming down. Luckily, when the night shift doctor checked me, she didn’t feel that this was the case and nothing else was mentioned about the lip.)
Okay, back to the pushing. I was told to push and hold every time I had a contraction. The epidural was still in effect (I had a button to push for more to be released if I needed it) so I could barely tell when the next contraction came in. The nurse could see on the monitor though when the contractions were and so I trusted them to tell me when the contraction was. I did have a sensation though and I pushed when I felt like one was coming on.
I had to push and hold and then quickly take a breath and push right away again. I was told not to strain my face and push down instead. I was told that I was pushing really well and that they could see the progress. I couldn’t feel it myself, but I was glad that I was doing well.
We kept going. The doctor told me that I was really tight down there and that I might need a cut. I was surprised because I thought that modern-day hospitals don’t perform episiotomies anymore and encourage tearing instead (which heals more naturally). I mentioned this and the doctor/nurse said the cut would be better. I basically said “you have to do what you have to do” which was the okay for them to make the cut.
When we got to that point, I was anticipating the cut even though I shouldn’t have felt it due to the epidural. The last push was when the head came out (I couldn’t feel it or the infamous “ring of fire”). Immediately after, I felt the rest of the baby’s body and limbs come out. It was like a bunch of limbs falling out of me. And then the warm body was placed on my chest. I remember the doctor said that there was a cord wrapped around the neck; of course they released it right away. I also heard them comment that the baby was peeing. They wiped the baby off immediately with the towels that were already on me. I couldn’t believe it. The baby was born. There was a small cry.
(There was no such thing as a “birth plan” unlike what many people think is necessary. My OB never did a birth plan with me nor mentioned it at any of my visits. I just knew that I wanted delayed cord clamping and for Ken to cut the umbilical cord. We told the delivery doctor about these two things when it was time to push. Also, since the sex of the baby was a surprise to us, when we told the doctor this, she suggested that Ken be the one to announce the baby’s sex.)
Once the baby was out, the doctor prompted Ken to announce whether it was a boy or girl. Ken was still in shock at how fast it all happened and told me the sex of the baby in Cantonese in a soft voice. I had to repeat it out loud that it was a girl so that the doctors knew Ken announced it already. The doctors were quite non-celebratory about it and continued to clean up — nothing like in the movies. Since there was a cut and I tore, the doctor stitched me up. I remember Ken saying “I love you” to me after the baby was taken away by the nurse for the eye cream and vitamin K shot. The baby cried when she was put on my chest. When Ken said it was a girl, I was relieved. Everybody guessed the baby’s sex incorrectly. I loved that. No one was able to say, “I told you so. I told you it was a boy” because everybody was wrong.
The doctor said, “It’s been about a minute. Is it okay to cut the cord?” I said yes. Ken was the one to cut the cord. He told me later that it was indeed difficult to cut it with the scissors because of how thick it was.
I remember looking intently at the table where the baby was placed as the nurse cleaned her up, weighed her, and put tags on her. She let out a little cry but the crying wasn’t consistent. (Baby’s APGAR score was “9, 9”, the highest score you can get. Yay!)
When the doctor was stitching up, she recommended/hinted at me to push for button for more epidural because I would need it for the pain. I felt the stitches (how the stitch went in and out). When the placenta was out, I barely felt it. I mentioned to Ken to take a picture of it. He was probably grossed out by it but I wanted the picture for memory’s sake. Plus, I never saw what it looked like. I grew that thing for four months in addition to the baby! (I asked him about it later on and he said he thought he had taken a picture but he had actually forgotten.)
The nurses were so quick to clean everything up and then leave the room to attend to another birth. Apparently it was really busy that night for births. I didn’t even get a chance to ask them to take a photo for us although I also was a bit afraid in my mind that they would deny taking a photo on our phone because of COVD-19 precautions.
The nurse asked if I wanted to pee and that she would assist me. She asked if I had underwear and I asked Ken to take out the Depends adult diaper for me. I said I didn’t feel like peeing but that I would try. (They had taken out the catheter before I started to push.)
The nurse supported me as I walked to the washroom to the toilet. I actually fell. My legs were still weak from the epidural. Luckily, I didn’t hit my knees on the floor and caught myself in time. I think the nurse was scared that I might have fell and broken something. I peed a little bit, I think, and the nurse helped me put on the Depends. That was really kind of her. I was brought a wheelchair since I couldn’t walk on my own yet. I was told to walk by swinging my knees instead of lifting them to prevent falling.
I held the baby in my arms as I was wheeled out. Ken hurriedly brought all of our belongings and we were headed to our room where we would rest for the next 24 hours. Ken and the nurse were funnily enough accidentally locked in the labour and delivery unit momentarily while I sat in the hallway waiting for them.
We were led to a shared room. We had requested for a private room (for about $300 a night), but they didn’t have any available that night. It was that popular. Our room had another couple already next to us (there were curtains to separate each bed). We got the corner area of the room with the window (so nice) with the washroom just steps away (so important). I was given a peri bottle. The nurse asked if we needed anything and I said water. Hot water. We got hot water in the thermos we had brought from home. The baby was put into the baby box next to the bed. There was another chair in the room and I saw a hospital grade Medela pump. My first meal post-birth was cup noodles! We had brought cup noodles which was the best thing ever.
Thank you for reading if you made it all the way to the end. Woohoo, this blog post was 6,400+ words! Part 2 coming next (all about our first 24 hours in the hospital with baby before being discharged to go home).
(Just for those curious about mask-wearing protocols during labour and delivery from my experience at MH: From the moment we entered the hospital to leaving, we had our medical masks on. There was no stated rule but occasional reminders. I was also given more leniency since I was the one giving birth.
In particular, when we were in our private birthing suite, we were able to pull it down for a break. However, I remember when I was labouring inside the room and walking around and a nurse came in to check on me and my mask was down, she asked me to put it back on. Then later when I was more advanced in my labour and restricted on the bed, I had my mask half off and no one asked me to put it on. When I was pushing, I didn’t have it on. All the medical staff always had theirs on though, as did Ken. Then once the baby was born and we were moved to our own room, the nurse reminded me to put on my mask as she wheeled me out. Once we were in our own partitioned room, we took it off. Whenever a medical staff came in to check on us, we had it back on.)