Just as each pregnancy is different, the birth story of each child can be as vastly different as can be.
Our little bun (or more affectionately referred to as B2, since we chose not to know the gender this time round), made a grand entrance on the first day of the Lunar New Year – 大年初一, no less!
This Teh Tarik baby (I had mad cravings of Aik Cheong Teh Tarik on a daily basis!) jumpstarted our engines with a false labour just two Sundays prior to the bub’s actual arrival. Now that B2 is officially in our arms, here’s sharing the birth story of our second child!
That fateful night before the EDD
It was the eve of the Lunar New Year, and we decided to go ahead with reunion dinner at my MIL’s place together with his siblings and their families.
During dinner, jokes were being shared like what happens if the baby decides to be prompt and we had to head to hospital after our meal.
We laughed and well, I was sort of nervous about it, to say the least. I had every reason to be, because the next day was the EDD, and based on previous experience, Vera was right on the dot! Speculations about the second child arriving way earlier and all just didn’t prove to be true for me since the bun was still baking at that point!
So I decided to play it safe and made sure I was clean and all ready before bedtime, just so I wouldn’t be caught unprepared should the “alerts” come my way. Hit the sack wih Vera and drifted off to dreamland, while the hubs stayed up as it’s a belief that doing so would keep his parents healthy and be blessed with longevity.
At around 350am, I felt the call of nature and waddled my way to the loo. Must be that cup of Redoxon that K made me down just before bedtime since I was nursing a bad throat and stuffy nose. Right after I was done, I felt some cramping and was getting a little worried. I headed back to lay down and to monitor the duration and frequency. Turned out, it was happening every ten minutes, and the pain lasted about a minute each time.
Alarm bells started ringing in my head. Was this IT!?
I called out to K who had barely fallen asleep, and told him about my observation. After monitoring for another twenty minutes, I decided the pain was too much to bear. I was worried too, as I’ve been at 2cm dilation for three weeks now.
What if the baby decides to slip out on our way to the hospital?! I know, dramatic thoughts, but these stories were real! I was worried about not being able to get my shot of happy-pidural too – so K quickly stepped out of the bedroom to prepare his things, grabbed a bottle of chicken essence for me, my toiletries, changed his clothes, called my mum that we’d be sending Vera over, before returning to the room to inform me that he’d be driving the car over.
While he was getting ready, I took the chance in between those contraction pains to get up and started to pack Vera’s new clothes for the next day (which was the first day of CNY). We had plans to go visiting so the visitation would be done without us and her new clothes had to be brought over to my mum’s too.
I quickly got changed, grab my mobile and waited for him to carry Vera out of bed and we made our way to the car.
Without much words, we quickly handed Vera over to my parents. By now, another episode of pain hit me and I couldn’t quite speak to them except my face probably said it all.
Making our way to Mt. Alvernia Hospital
We drove to Mt. Alvernia pronto! What K said next made me laugh despite the pain.
“You’re not usually an on-time person but our babies are very prompt, eh?”
He couldn’t be further than the truth! Ha! Daddy was surprisingly zen (he’s usually the gan cheong one whereas I’m the calmer one), but the pain was messing up my mind and making me nervous.
We arrived at Mt. Alvernia hospital and I alighted first and made my way to the delivery ward on level 3. Since I had a rehearsal the previous round, I knew where to go and what to expect. Talk about a dry run before the big show!
And, I was the third to check into the delivery ward that morning! Was led to room 3A just 5 minutes to 4am, and basically that was the beginning of things!
The nurses asked for my situation, if I had any drug allergies etc and the CTG was strapped onto my bump. I heard another mum scream and several minutes later, a baby’s cry.
Oh, those contractions and my happy-dural!
Contractions continued and it was getting quite intense and I suspected that my dilation would already have progressed further. Was given the laughing gas (how do mum’s survive delivery with just this!?) to send some relief during those painful moments, and the nurses did a dilation check, confirming that I was at 4-5cm! I INSTANTANEOUSLY asked for the anaesthetist to be called – progressing to 6cm would meant that it would be too late for my happy-dural! Oh the horrors!
Shortly, the enema was inserted to help clear bowels. Tried so hard to hold it in for 5minutes before scampering to the loo; letting it all out plus the oncoming contractions were quite a lot to bear! I was squashing K’s hands and perspiring!
The contractions came and the laughing gas was my temporary best friend until my real best friend came. It didn’t completely take away the pain, merely leaving me giddy-headed and after one very deep breath, the ceiling was practically spinning. No fun at all!
Hubs went down to see to the check-in arrangements, while I laid in bed and waited anxiously for the anaesthetist. Before long, this fresh-faced pretty lady came and introduced herself as Dr. Yvonne Lim. I was so happy, I could have given her a hug!
She was chatty, and explained the procedure. Her swift actions made it a quick administration, and within a few minutes, the contractions seemed to have disappeared! That’s like the bestest invention ever! I thanked her profusely and wished her Happy Chinese New Year, and apologetically told her sorry for calling upon her at that hour. Well, she responded that she had already been disturbed all night! LOL!
Thereafter, I was left with the midwives and I was hoping to catch some sleep before the real deal. The midwives checked on my condition regularly and so far, we’ve been very impressed with their care, mannerisms, and how they would try to put me at ease by chatting with me.
The clock was ticking away. And the next time the midwife came to check on me, she said my water bag had already burst! Just before she did the dilation check, I heard a “pop” like a balloon had burst, and more water started flowing. That meant B2 was coming really soon! So glad my gynae, Dr Eunice Chua, came right after and it’s always such a relief to see her! She jokingly mentioned that baby was so prompt, just like Vera! :p Looks like this is going to make a special story when the kids are older!
She checked on dilation again, and this time I was around 8-9cm. It was progressing well, and she was certain the delivery would take half the time it did with my firstborn. And in another couple of hours, baby would arrive. That was how confident Dr Chua was!
The nurses asked whom we had in mind to do the gender announcement and well, we weren’t prepared for that question!
The next dilation check revealed that I was at 10cm, and that meant it was time to get busy!
Time to get pushing!
Midwives came in to get me pushing, and, gosh! My nose was stuffed and I could barely hold my breath and push for 10 seconds. After pushing for over an hour, my head was light from all that huffing and puffing. Not to mention, the queasiness (effects of happy-dural) made me throw up a few times! However, the midwife said that the puking helped to push baby down towards the birth canal too, so that’s actually a good sign!
I was pretty hopeful of pushing B2 out unassisted but after all that loss of energy, I was half-heartedly waving the white flag and tempted to get assistance from the gynae.
Fortunately, Dr Chua stepped in just in time (I like how she’s been so spot on with timings – gives me so much more confidence), and exuded a new wave of positive energy. She was encouraging and also confident that I could “do it on my own this time”, something she has always mentioned during this pregnancy.
Dr Chua then casually mentioned that she would not be announcing the gender. “I’ll put the baby on you and you see for yourself!”, she joked!
Hello our little surprise!
So after two sets of three huffs and puffs, I felt something swimming/wriggle out of me and Dr Chua’s voice called out to me to “open your eyes!” and there he was, all grey, wet and squirmy lying on my body… It was such a surreal moment, I could feel tears welling up. There he was, our much-anticipated B2; our gender-surprise baby :)
It must have been a mix of everything at that point – the fatigue from all that pushing (although I pushed for over 2hrs with Vera!), my stuffed nose causing breathing difficulties, my #achievementunlocked moment to deliver without assistance and just a single shot of happy-dural (I used 3 shots with Vera!) this time and finally holding our healthy baby who arrived at 10ish in the morning.
Little Leroy was a tad heavier and bigger than Vera, and I was faced with a rude shock during my challenging post-partum recovery. Fingers crossed that things will be back to normal soon.
In the meantime, Happy Birthday, Leroy! Mummy, Daddy and Vera 姐姐 welcome you to our humble family! Love you to the moon and back <3
P/S: The next day, we found out that we were neighbours with mummy Justina, who welcomed her princess to add to her brood of three lads! What a lovely surprise to meet this friendly mama at a time and place like this! LOL!