Readers who have been following us on Facebook are in the know of the latest news :) Yup, we are happy to share that our little bundle of joy has arrived in a timely fashion on the dot – exactly on her EDD! This cutie surprised us with a head of dark mane!
As new parents with so much to learn, we can’t help but wonder why there isn’t an instruction manual that comes together? :P Our queries are not uncalled for, and as the days go, we unravel new surprises and learn new things along the way. As a first-time mum, there are so many new experiences and I’d like to take this opportunity to share with preggy mums and new mummies reading my humble blogazine :) This birth story post might get a little lengthy – so, please excuse my lorsor-ness aka windbag moment.
How It Happened:
It was 5am and I was zzz-ing in bed and felt an urge for a visit to the loo (towards the last trimester, I was waking up about twice a night). And just as I was about to turn and get up, I felt a gush of pee coming out and that startled me as I tried to hold it in, but to no avail. Without a second thought, I jumped out of bed to make a beeline for the loo while exclaiming to my sleeping husband “Sorry, sorry! I wet the bed!” The shocked husband was jolted from dreamland and asked what happened, and saw the wet bed and floor (there was quite abit of water on the floor). I sat on the toilet bowl to ease my bladder but realized the seemingly unlimited fluid streaming out. At the same time, the hub examined the mess and came over declaring it was odourless, so it’s not pee (pee smells of ammonia) but should point to amniotic fluid instead. My water bag has burst!
Many have shared experiences of their first signs of labour and those whose water bags burst assured that there’s still time for a shower and/or a hearty meal. So dear Hub thought of breakfast and told me that he’d like to get my fave KFC porridge. I was changing out of my PJs and washing up as we discussed breakfast. “It’s just 10mins away. Or we could go to the drive-thru”, he offered. Then, the crampy feeling started with intervals of less than 5mins. “Ugh! Contractions!” popped up in my mind. “Forget about KFC; drive the car over! We need to get to the hospital now!” I just had to put my foot down on the food part. After gulping down a bottle of Brand’s Essence of Chicken (his colleague told him that would give me extra energy prior to actual labour since I won’t be able to eat by then) and to Thomson Medical Centre, it was!
Pain and More Pain:
On our way to TMC, contractions got more intense. We even placed a towel on the car seat lest I should wet it! Reached the waiting ward and was asked to pee into a disposable cup and change into a hospital gown. Laid on the bed for awhile and the nurse started asking some questions about the earlier drama, alongside health questions like if there’s any drug allergy etc. When she checked for dilation, it was simply OMG! My friend, X, did warn me about this so I kinda saw it coming. My question to the nurse was: when can I get epidural? :P
Since it was still early morning, the doc would take at least half an hour to get down, and dilation was at 4cm already. By 7-8cm, it would be too late, plus the medicine takes awhile to take effect, so after some quick rationalization, the anaesthetist was “summoned”. While waiting, stool softener/laxative was given from the bottom to clear the insides. Noticed some “bloody show” as well.
By 730am, we were ushered into the Delivery Ward to start the waiting game. The anaesthetist reached shortly and identified himself. I could feel a sense of relief at that moment! By now, the surges in contraction were getting more intense. He swiftly hooked me up on the epidural and waited for the pain relief to kick in. For those who’d like to know how epidural is administered, watch this video and/or info can be found here. It took about 20mins or so for the numbing sensation to kick in. Tried hitting my legs, and actually, I could still feel something. I’ve heard from others that it takes away 100% off the pain but I don’t think that’s really the case. As the pushing needs to be done during the peaks of contractions, some sense of feel has to be possible so that you know when to push. For me, the peaks still hurt and my cheerleader aka the Hub instantaneously chants “Deep breathing! Deep breathing!” Mrs Wong Boh Boi’s words stayed close with us :) For those of you who are new parents, I’d highly recommend attending the Parentcraft Childbirth Education sessions conducted by Mrs Wong Boh Boi! Her teachings and experiences shared definitely helped in many ways, and especially helpful when it comes to busting myths by the older folks and the confinement nanny!
Lie Back and Rest:
The waiting game continues and midwives entered and left the room to check on our progress. Dilation was at 8cm by late morning and it practically felt like a countdown! Contractions got more intense and I requested for a higher dosage of epidural since I couldn’t imagine how painful it could get when the “actual work” happens. At the non-peaks, I was basically dozing off. Probably a mix of waking up early plus sheer tiredness combined with the effects of epidural – the zzz monster was hard to resist! By early noon, we were on standby to push. Midwives with the “right” attitude do make a HUGE difference! Read on to find out why.
Getting down to work:
It was a “hot” day and the Hub spent 40mins at the check-in counter. Apparently, there were several scheduled C-sections and incidentally, it was also All Saint’s Day! So after he returned to the delivery suite, some gentle reminder from yours truly that he should be fueling up as well, lest he should faint at the crucial moment *LOL* Fortunately, he was well-prepared – his combat ration was put together a week earlier, when we were at Parkway Parade and Marks & Spencer’s was having an atrium sale. Stocking up on shortbreads and biscuits seemed like a natural move then – Hub loves snacks, the snack cabinet at home houses 90% of his tidbits *LOL*
Fortunately, dilation didn’t take too long: from 4cm when we reached the waiting ward, gradually to 7-8cm a couple of hours later and then we waited till about noon and the midwives started getting ready. Since it was a busy day, different midwives were coming in and out of our room to check on our progress. Not too sure if it’s a usual arrangement? Felt like I was being monitored for my performance. Anyhow, 2 Filipino midwives gave the green light, and that meant the real work was to start! 1 of them was really encouraging, offering positive words such as “good job!” and “that’s good!” although I personally think that baby probably didn’t move that much. However, the other midwife was very much a turnoff and the Hub shared the same sentiments. Having pushed for an hour or so, plus waking up at an ungodly hour, naturally I was physically tired and the epidural was making me sleepy. Hub was beside me all the time and on his toes with energetic shouts of “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… PUSH!!” Much like the Commanding Officer in the Army. *LOL* Throughout the pushing, I actually yawned a couple of times and guess what?! She saw me yawning and even had the cheek to add: “You yawn, I also yawn.” We were simply disgusted with that remark, which reflected her professionalism tainting those 17 years of midwifery. *Grrr*.
Several minutes later, a local senior midwife (later, we heard her being addressed as “Sister”) came in, full of enthusiasm and smiles, bringing much energy into the room. Sister Grace instantly gave us an extra power up boost – her encouragements were uplifting, helping me to synchronize the pushes with additional dose of motivation. After trying for a few minutes, she confidently suggested to try a different position. Instead of lying on my back which I had been doing for over an hour, I was turned to my left side. This was a great help and I made better “improvements” and managed to push baby further down the birth canal. My gynecologist, Dr Eunice Chua, entered the room with smiles and quickly got ready for the action. Sister Grace and Dr Chua chatted with laughter making the atmosphere more light-hearted (maybe I seemed tensed or stressed?) and joked with one another. Both made it much better for us and subsequently, Dr Chua suggested assisted delivery options of either vacuum or forceps as I’ve been pushing for 2 hours (considered rather long) and with the help of a vacuum, at the 2nd push. we heard Baby V’s cries filling the room! PHEW! Amusingly, I could practically feel Baby squirming out of my tummy, with the curves from her form sliding out…. interesting..!
Guess I must have looked pretty stoned once she was out. Dr Chua asked jokingly “Are you okay? You look like you’re in shock.” I guess my facial expression said it all. I wasn’t exactly in “shock” but everything was just so surreal. I COULDN’T BELIEVE THAT I HAD JUST DELIVERED MY BABY *LOL*
To sum it up, it was really quite an experience and I’d say, it wasn’t that bad. As my EDD drew closer, I was pretty scared about how painful it was going to be. A BIG “thank you” to Dr Chua and Sister Grace! Couldn’t have done it without the both of you! Seeing little Vera made EVERYTHING worth it :)
More snapshots of our little one :)