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Labour Pain Relief Measures

Yesterday was one of my final few visits to the gynae. Kirsten is doing well. She says hi, but I shan’t bore you with more ultrasound pics that look exactly the same as the last one. Anyway, it was time to discuss my birthing plan and decide on pain management options during the labor.

When Tru was born, I didn’t have to go through the whole labor process. I was at the gynae’s office for a routine check in the morning and decided on that day to have the c-section at 5 in the evening. No bursting of water bag, no contractions, none of that drama that makes the whole process so exciting. The only thing even mildly interesting was the fact that I snuck out for a final decent meal despite being told that I wasn’t supposed to eat before the surgery. I couldn’t bear the thought of not having real food for the next month without any mental preparation.

The experience was rather sterile actually. I was given an epidural to numb the nerves from waist down (which HURT LIKE CRAZY) and after that, I pretty much just stared at the lights above the operating table while the OBGYN did his thing.

This time, I’m determined to go experience what it’s like to push a child out from my va-jay-jay and do the whole crazy woman scream with sweat pouring down my face thing. It’ll be so much more fun.

So the birthing plan goes like this. When the water bag bursts and I start contracting, I’m going to take a shower, wash my hair, grab some ice-cream, drop Tru at my mom’s place and then fly down to the hospital. The moment I get in, I’m start hollering for an epidural (when else can I get away with screaming at people just for the fun of it?) and demand for ice chips, magazines and my Nintendo DS. With the epi, it’s practically a walk in the park after that. I only hope I don’t poop on the table.

Props to the gynae for keeping a straight face when he heard my plan. And double props for actually agreeing to go along. He says it’s my delivery, I should get to do it my way, as long as I don’t insist on giving birth at home.

He did however, ask me to consider the various pain management options before I decide. So I’m considering.


and the greatest of silent birth

1. Deep breathing.

Seriously. Deep breathing. The only way breathing is going to take away any pain is if I take a deep breath and hold it in forever. Then I might pass out and die and feel no pain. Other than that, deep breathing is rubbish. I did hear some new age, mind-over-matter techniques that can reduce pain. You’re supposed to take deep breaths, close your eyes and imagine your cervix opening up like a flower. Yeah, right.

2. Laughing gas.


its funny, i'm in so much pain but i don't seem to care?

There’s nothing funny about it though. The effect is like smoking weed – it makes you high and you can then actually imagine your cervix opening up like a flower. Or a butterfly. Or the mouth of a giant T-rex eating up half of Singapore. The thing is, some say it doesn’t actually block the pain, it just makes your brain a little fuzzy in the hope that the pain signals get all mixed up and gets sent to your big toe instead of your cerebral cortex. Except that when it doesn’t work, you end up being high and in a lot of pain. Not a good combination.

3. Epidural


the epidural needle, actual size

This is the only method that is guaranteed to take away the pain. But to administer the epidural hurts big time. They have to inject a tube into the spine in order to pump in the meds, so at the end of the day, it’s a matter of using pain to counteract the pain. But once it kicks in, you can practically chill out, have a cuppa and read a book while your cervix will take its time to open up like a flower without having to imagine it into existence.

I’ve got a fourth method which I’ve worked out with the husband. After I get to the hospital, he’s supposed to knock me out with a small dose of chloroform and pretend that I’m asleep while the doctor administers the epi. Once it’s all good, I’ll wake up and deliver Kirsten without any pain at all. We’re still in the process of determining the right amount of chloroform to use. The last trial run, I was out for 2 days, so we’ll probably have to dilute it a bit more.

Just make sure you don’t try this at home.

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  • Reply Home exchange June 12, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    OMG. Those pictures are noooot pretty. What I’m most scared of is having to have an episiotomy… Eurgh.

    • Reply Daphne June 13, 2009 at 2:50 pm

      urgh, out of curiosity i google imaged that – now those pictures are not pretty!!

  • Reply KelvinK June 13, 2009 at 1:15 am

    I had no idea cervixes were supposed to “open up like a flower”. Kinda a nice way to put across something that is actually ultra gross?

  • Reply Buckeroomama June 16, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Good luck with your VBAC. Do ask for an epi, but don’t ask for a top-up (like I did — wooze!), because you might not “feel” the urge to push when you finally need to push and might end up having to have an “assisted” delivery (vacuum or forceps), especially if you’re all bent on doing it “on own.” :)

    • Reply Daphne June 16, 2009 at 11:59 pm


      I can’t ask for a “top up”? Gee, i better remind the husband to restrain me when it actually happens. Let’s just say my threshold of pain is..below average.

      Thanks for the heads up!

  • Reply Sturgy Fam June 20, 2009 at 1:35 am

    I have enjoyed reading your blog.

  • Reply Julie Ross January 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Daphne,

    I say you look ageless with your beauty. And I find your blog very informative. I had a great time reading it. Thank you so much… – Julie

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