The Long and Winding Labor

On the afternoon of September 20, 2014, Shannondoah and Kat came over.  Kat examined me and she thought I had a lot of amniotic fluid.  She got in contact with Dr. Wilkes and asked if he could check out my amniotic fluid and placenta.  He said he would come and meet us on his day off and check it out.  He also put a bed on hold for me at Summerlin Hospital just in case.

Later, we all went to Dr. Wilkes’ office Desert Perinatal Associates at the Summerlin location which is right next to Summerlin Hospital.  He did an ultrasound on me and my amniotic fluid was 3.1 which is really low.  My placenta was getting old at a grade 3 and it was calcified.  He said I should be admitted to the hospital where I would be medically induced.  He knew that I really wanted a natural birth. 

We went to the hospital and I was admitted.  We were thinking of eating, but thought I was fine.  I should have eaten.  I filled out paperwork and was taken to my room.  Ivan said he was going to get stuff at the house.  I told him things to get.  Ivan and Shannondoah left to head to our house.  Kat stayed with me.  I talked to my parents that I was being admitted.  They wanted to come visit.  I told them the room number.

I chatted with Kat and played Candy Crush Saga on my phone. 

My parents came to visit at 7 pm.  I had an energy bar. 

Shannondoah came with lots of things from the house that she thought would be useful to have.  Ivan came later with a big suitcase of stuff and food from Whole Foods.  I wasn’t able to eat for a couple hours after taking the Cervidil.

Motivation pictures

I had a photo of Ivan and me after hiking Machu Picchu for 3 days.  That was  the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically since I am short and the stairs are really big.  I also have ankles that hurt from so much walking.  Ivan and Fatboy Slim music helped me get through the hard hiking.  The photo would help motivate me.  I also had a funny picture with a mouse working out on a mousetrap with the quote “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.”

The nurse Melissa, a Southern girl, came to put the Cervidil in.  It’s a strip that was put in my cervix.  I had to pat dry when I went to pee.  I was put on an IV drip which I could get medicines in.  I was given water through the IV.  I also had monitoring on my stomach, so they could make sure the baby was fine.  They could also track the intensity of my contractions through the contractions.  It was weird and a bit annoying with the pads on my stomach and the IV drip on me.  The contractions started happening one right after each other.  Shannondoah was there and helped me go into hypnosis.  She was giving me massages on my back since it hurt so much. 

Having a contraction

My midwife Kathya wasn’t there since one of her other mums was in labor.

Melissa checked me out and I was only 1 centimeters dilated.  The contractions still kept coming hard.  They were painful, but I was very focused on getting through each contraction because of the hypnosis.  I kept talking to Baby George trying to get him to move down.  I remembered my friend Carrie telling me to talk to the baby during my labor.

I finally got to eat, but food didn’t taste that good.  I ate what I could though.

Ivan was so worried that I was in pain for so long.  He was so thankful that Shannondoah was there comforting me.

I wanted to sleep, but once I was nodding off… I would get another contraction and it would keep continue on.  Shannondoah told the nurse that I couldn’t sleep and I was in pain.  I took Tylenol for the pain.  There was an option to take Benadryl or a sedative. 

So tired

A few hours later, I took Benadryl to help me sleep, but it didn’t work.  It did make me sleepier, but the contractions kept coming strong and I couldn’t drift off to sleep. 

I kept coughing.  It continued and I threw up a lot.

At 5:35 am on September 21, 2014, I decided to take the sedative since I would only be on it for a few hours since I had to wake up at 10 am to start the Pitocin.  The sedative can be bad since it puts the baby to sleep which can be bad if he doesn’t wake up and we go into a Caesarean section. 

Thankfully, the sedative worked right away and I slept for 4 hours.  I think I slept only 5 hours that night. 

At 9 am, the Cervidil was taken out.   The new nurse Emelie measured me and I was 2 1/2 centimeters dilated.  She was a very sweet nurse.   I would be put on Pitocin later.  I had to shower and eat.  The nurse recommended eating something light.  I was so hungry though.  I knew I wouldn’t be eating for awhile on Pitocin in case I do have to have a Caesarean section.  Your stomach has to be empty when a C section is done.  I ordered a peanut butter and honey sandwich, a fruit plate and Cheerios. 

Much needed food

It was so good to eat. 

Kathya came and made sure I got a shower.  I took a shower and then the waiting began. 

Ivan told me later that he thought Kathya was mad that I took a sedative since she believes in natural methods.  If I didn’t take it, I would have been really tired.

I didn’t get the Pitocin until 1 pm.  At first, the contractions were light.  Then, they kept coming.  Thank goodness for Shannondoah, she massaged my lower back constantly. 

The contractions were quite intense.  The hypnosis did help me focus, but the pain was still there.  Shannondoah was there for support and it helped me tremendously.  Every time I had to get out of bed, either her or Ivan would help me take off the monitoring and go to the bathroom.  Sometimes the contractions would come when I was on the toilet.  I would just sit and ride it out. 

Ivan played songs from my slow playlist.  I could hear it slightly.  I kept focusing on getting through the pain of the contractions.  It was like going up a mountain and then going down with the hardest pain at the peak.  It was hard at times since sometimes it was just one after the other.  Sometimes you get a break which is nice. 

Shannondoah asked if I could go walking.  It was nice to walk around the halls.  It wasn’t that easy and I held on to the railing which is along the walls.  I bet I looked silly walking around in my white Victoria’s Secret robe which reached the ground since I’m so short (4’9”).

Walking in my robe

Ivan started playing fast music at one point, but it wasn’t helping, so I asked him to stop it.  I think it made my pain seem even more intense.

The Asian nurse went through my birth plan to cover things that didn’t make sense like conflicting information.  It was nice to know that they actually went through my birth plan.

I don’t know why but I kept thinking about Pam and Jim from the tv show The Office.  Ivan was by my side and I wanted to yell Big Tuna (Jim’s nickname), but I stopped the urge to do so.

I got to shower which felt good with the warm water.  I would by on all fours and sucking on a popsicle.  It helped with pain, but I could only do it for 20 minutes at a time since the nurse didn’t want me off the monitoring for too long.

At almost midnight, I thought my water broke but it was my mucous plug.  The nurse checked me and I was 3 centimeters dilated.  The contractions started slowing down after 1 am, so I got some sleep. 

The nurse Crystal talked to Dr. Wilkes and he thought I should do 40 milo units of Pitocin, but she wanted to do internal monitoring of the cervix or she can break the water.  She decided to break my water.  It didn’t really hurt when she broke it which I thought it would.

I was at maximum Pitocin at 4 am.

I kept having hard contractions throughout the  day on September 22, 2014.  I wasn’t dilating much more.  The nurses kept stretching me to make me more dilated than I really was. 

I was 5 centimeters dilated.  Shannondoah and Kat said that labor speeds up after being dilated at 5 cm.  They said usually an hour per centimeter.  I thought to myself I don’t know if I can do 5 more hours of this.  But, I did.  Contractions are really tough when they keep coming at a constant pace.

I don’t remember the time, but I think it was around 8:30 pm when the nurse told me that she talked to Dr. Wilkes and he said that he thought my pelvis was too small or the baby’s head was too big.  I would be having a Caesarean section soon. 

I really tired my hardest and it was time for Baby George to come out.  It was good to know that we would soon meet him for the first time.  They took me off the Pitocin after 9 pm.  I called my parents and brother to tell them and I texted my sister.  I was still feeling contractions.  I even had one when talking to my brother, but I kept talking even though it was uncomfortable. 

My brother’s son was hoping that George would be born on his birthday September 23.  We weren’t sure if that would happen since it was still before midnight. 

We waited awhile for Dr. Wilkes to come for the C section.  I was so exhausted and starving at this point.  I was relieved that I didn’t have to feel all the pain from the contractions anymore. 

Kathya asked the anesthesiologist if she and Shannondoah could be in the room while I had the C section.  He said no because they didn’t want anybody unplugging something since it’s a small room.

Dr. Wilkes said that my pelvis was like a cone and the baby wasn’t able to come out.  There was no way George could have come out naturally.

Ivan and I were given blue scrubs to wear.  Ivan got a hat to wear.  I was thinking of wearing my birthing outfit, but the nurse said it might get bloody.  So, I put on the scrubs. 

In our scrubs

Ivan and I were asked to go at 11:20 pm.  I went in first, so they could prep me while Ivan waited outside the room on a bench.  Ivan told me later that it was the longest 15 minutes just sitting there not knowing when he would be allowed to come inside the room. 

The room was pretty spacious.

I asked Dr. Wilkes if Ivan and I could be the first to talk to Baby George when he came out.  He said that’s fine as long as he was the first to give the baby a high five.  I agreed.

The room was a lot more spacious than I imagined… probably since the anesthesiologist said it was small.  There was a high table in the middle of the room.  There was a stepstool and I still couldn’t get on the table.  Somebody found another stepstool to put on top of the one already there.  Dr. Wilkes said I’d be the shortest person to give birth here if I couldn’t get up with 2 stepstools.  I made it up onto the table. 

They placed things on my legs to make sure I didn’t get blood clots… they inflate with air and buzz.

The anesthesiologist poked me twice with a needle for the epidural and it barely hurt at all.  I thought it would be really painful.  It was nothing compared to all the contractions the last 2 1/2 days. 

Dr. Wilkes put my legs on the table and told me to lie down.  My legs were already numb.  The epidural worked so fast!  They put a sheet over my body up to my neck.  Ivan came in shortly after.  It was great to see him. 

My head during the C section

Dr. Wilkes and the medical team started doing their stuff.  I thought it would take awhile to get the baby out.  But, George came out a few minutes later.  Dr. Wilkes held him up and I said Oh, George!  I thought he looks really Asian like I knew he would.

Ivan and I were so happy.  I wish they were able to put him on my chest after, but they had to clean up the baby (since later we found out meconium was found).  Ivan was able to take lots of pictures. 


George even held his finger in his tiny hands.  Ivan got to cut the cord.

George was born on September 23, 2014 at 12:03 am.   He was 7 pounds 2 ounces and his head was 42 centimeters. 

Shortly after, Ivan took the baby and went back to the room. 

The nurse put a binder around my stomach.  Two of the staff put a blanket under me and I had a magic carpet ride.  I was lifted in the air somehow and put on a gurney.  It was really cool and reminded me of the scene in Beatles Love where the bed floats up above the stage.


I started breastfeeding with the help from Kathya and Shannondoah.

Dr. Wilkes came by and thanked me for allowing him to deliver my baby.  I said thank you so much.  He’s such a sweet man and a wonderful doctor.

Later, the nurse came in and said that I had Hepatitis B.  I didn’t know about this and Kathya looked shocked.  I figured they got the results from blood that was taken from me.  But, it was the medical records of blood work I had taken during my pregnancy.  I don’t know why Kathya never told me I had Hepatitis B.  The baby would have to have two shots, so he wouldn’t get it as well.

The nurse said George would be taken to the nursery to get his shots.  Kathya tripped out about this saying the baby should stay in the room to get his shots.  She said that George had to take another shot since there was meconium around my placenta.  She thought the nurse was lying about the meconium.  Kathya and the nurse got in an argument about being an advocate for me.  The nurse said she would ask the charge nurse on duty if the shots could be done in the room.  Kathya said nurses from Summerlin Hospital have been known to take the baby for many hours for shots.  She said there was videos online about it.  Shannondoah agreed.  Ivan and I were already tired from the birth and labor that we didn’t want to hear an argument about this.  Plus, we didn’t believe the nurses would take George away for so long for no reason.  Kathya has really strong views on things and doesn’t like to be challenged on her views.

Ivan and I asked about the placenta since I wanted to take it home to do placenta encapsulation.  The nurse said it had to go for testing since meconium was found around it. 

The nurse said that somebody would be by shortly to give George his shots.  He would have to take a bath before taking his shots.  I wasn’t too keen on that since that was in my birth plan, but it had to be done.

I was so happy to have my baby out of my body and we would be able to take him home sometime soon.  I’m glad that we were both healthy after dealing with such a long labor.

I was being moved to another room.  It turned out that it was a quarantine room, so it was at the end of the hall. 

Kathya said bye.  Shannondoah helped us move to my new room.  It was great that the new room had a proper bed for Ivan to sleep in.  Dr. Wilkes said earlier that I would have to stay in the hospital for two days to heal.

I was hooked to a urinary catheter so that I could pee through that.  My bed could move so that my bottom or top part of my bed could move.  This made it easy to eat.  It was such a challenge getting out of bed since I had to support my weight onto a bar while getting out of bed. 

The nurse showed me how to change my underwear with the padding they provided  since I was bleeding.  I was on the clear diet which meant I could only have clear things to eat or drink like soup, water and apple juice.  It doesn’t sound appealing and it doesn’t taste good. 

George had his own little bed in a plastic container.  It was on wheels, so we could move him close to my bed.  There was plenty of diapers and wet wipes, so we could change him.  The nurse showed Ivan how to swaddle the baby.  The nurses were so fast swaddling George.  I’m sure they do it so often that they could do it in their sleep.

It was time to get some rest for me, Ivan and George.  It was a bit annoying though, since the nurses would periodically come in to check on George or me.  I was in pain, but opted to not take anything too strong.  I thought I could handle this pain after laboring for 2 1/2 days.  The pain was tolerable and not as bad as I thought it would be.


My midwife Kathya missed that I tested positive for Hepatitis B.  The SNHD (Southern Nevada Health District) called a few weeks after the birth and tried to figure out why George had shots for Hepatitis B. I got a free shot to test for Hepatitis B and it turns out that I don’t have Hepatitis B. Kathya ordered the wrong test and I was tested to see if the vaccine was in my blood.  I had the Hepatitis B vaccine shot a few years ago, so it was present in my blood. 

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