Friday, January 22, 2016

Discharged.

I really could not wait to leave the hospital.

Was supposed to stay for 3 nights -
the gynae recommended for me to stay at extra night because it was my first child
and it would be good to get help from the nurses,  etc.

But on the second day, I really wanted to go home SO BADLY.
You have no idea how miserable I felt at the hospital.

Hospital staff just kept walking in and out of the room every other minute.
There is totally zero privacy (I know, I know, you must be thinking what was I expecting) -
but I was in the toilet when a cleaner just barged in and said sorry.

Totally lost all "dignity" during my 2 days at the hospital.

What made me the most miserable was the excruciating pain I felt.
Peeing was SO PAINFUL. In fact, I didn't even want to pee initially but I know I had to.
I had to call the nurse to assist me to the toilet while she watched me pee. 

Even though I was given pain killers, the pain from the stitches were still so bad.
Had a second degree tear. 

It took me some time to regain strength to even walk again, having been lying in bed for 24 hours.
I felt like collapsing while taking each step.

I was so consumed with fearing labour pains while I was pregnant that I didn't even think about the pain AFTER delivery. The pain after delivery was worse than the labour pain (but I know that it is also because I had an epidural).

I really wonder how some wonder women manage to deliver without epidural.
Their pain threshold must be pretty high.

x  x  x  x  x  x

Going home was the BEST feeling ever! :)

Some pictures taken on the second day :


Hello there!

She has mummy's fingers :)

.... and daddy's eyes.


Baby Olivia and her great grandmother.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The day she arrived (Part 2)

It was already past midnight - it was 13 January 2016.

The delivery ward was really cold but yet, I was sweating.

Told Mike to bring adequate clothings beforehand but yet, he didn't listen.
He was freezing.
Poor him had to sleep on a chair in the delivery ward.

Due to the excitement and also the itch I was feeling from the epidural, it was extremely difficult to sleep. Couldn't wait to meet the baby and to get over and done with the whole process.

Also, the nurses would be walking in and out to check on me on an hourly basis so it was pretty impossible to get some shut eye.

So many rounds of urine draining with the catheter took place with the nurse commenting that I have "a lot of urine".  Didn't drink much water apart from two cups.
The water was from the IV drip.

They also kept asking me whether I felt like shitting.
With my bottom half being numb, how would it be possible to feel any bowel movements?!

At 4.40 a.m., another dilation check was done.
I was 5 cm dilated.
HALFWAY more to go! Woo hoo.

However, at that point, the wait just seemed never-ending.
I was getting a little impatient and also worried at the same time.

I kept checking the monitor to see the baby's heartbeat and everytime it dropped, my heart would literally sink as well. Was very fearful if the baby would be distressed during my contractions.

That night, I prayed so many arrow prayers every other interval.
I know that there were so many who were praying for me as well.
Am so thankful for that.

At 7.10 a.m., my gynae came by to check on me.

I was already 7 cm dilated!
She also burst my water bag manually and added an extra drip to help keep the momentum of contractions going.

My gynae told me that she was monitoring the baby's heartbeat from home and said that although the baby's heartbeat is OK, it is not "looking too great" because every time I experience contractions, her heart rate drops a lot.

My gynae is pretty straightforward and doesn't mince her words. She told me that we will have to "play by ear", meaning that there would be a chance that I would have to go for an emergency C sec if need be, or at least, that was how I interpreted it.

After she told me that, I kept on asking Mike to continuously update me on the baby's heart rate.
It was getting too taxing on my neck to turn to look at the monitor.

I was also feeling worried once again with my gynae's comment when all of a sudden, I just thought of applying the breathing technique that I learnt in the antenatal class everytime a contraction came about.

To my surprise, I noticed that the baby's heartbeat didn't drop as low whenever I breathed with the proper technique! That was a huge relief for me.

At 9.30 a.m. - I was STILL 7 cm dilated. Le sigh.

Within the next 2 hours, the contractions became more intense and I started feeling a pain in my rib cage. I felt pain on my right side of the body in the morning itself while the left side was still numb.

More epidural was administered.

At 11 something a.m., the nurse came in to prepare the room for delivery.
IT WAS FINALLY HAPPENING!

My gynae came in close to 12 p.m. and joked with me to ask me to deliver by 2 p.m. because if not, she would have to reschedule her appointment to service her car -_-"

I was taught how to push and breathe during delivery and it was just like the movies. Haha.
The delivery was pretty quick and I was getting extremely light headed from holding my breath to PUSH! Had to take cues from the nurse on when to push because I could only feel mild contractions.

She would tell me - "Ok. A contraction is coming. Push!!!"

Managed to push the baby out in half an hour and I believe that there was definitely divine intervention involved because my baby's head wasn't in an optimal delivery position initially but my gynae commented on my baby saying that she was a 'clever girl' because she rotated her head to the right position as she was being pushed out.

My gynae even joked  after the delivery- "Are you sure this is your first child? Well done."

The delivery did not hurt at all - Thank God for epidural, seriously.

Even when my gynae told me - I will need to "cut you up a little", I was calm, only because I knew I wouldn't feel any pain.

Mike was supposed to cut the umbilical cord but he didn't manage to because the cord was pretty short according to my gynae and was near the baby's neck.

Welcome to the world, Baby Olivia! 

Wanted to cradle her when she was out but I was so, SO exhausted after delivery.

It felt so surreal to see her in front of me right after delivery, covered in blood and crying away.
I can never fathom how she was once as small as a sesame seed with a beating heart.
How can there NOT be a creator?

Took me awhile to get "settled" to cradle her, but it was not long before I called out to Mike to take her back immediately because I was going to barf.

Apparently, the nurse jabbed my thigh during delivery to intensify the contractions and the side effect of that jab is nausea. I puked at least 4 times after delivery and was shivering, because of the blood loss.

Suddenly, the long labour didn't seem as bad as what is to follow after that -
when the epidural wore out, I was in SO MUCH pain and I was feeling very, very down.

The only 'natural epidural' I had that made things better after delivery is my baby.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

When it all began . . . (Part 1)

Here goes my labour story . . . .

Part 1

I remember experiencing a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions the day before my EDD. 

On 12 Jan 2016 (on the expected due date), I was experiencing a lot of cramping and more and more discharge was coming out.

In the morning :

It was around 9 a.m. when the cramps started and would come around on an hourly basis.  Many people would tell me that you'd KNOW the difference between Braxton Hicks and real contractions but I was still confused as to what was I feeling that morning itself.

I consulted PS about what I was experiencing and she told me that these are all pre labour signs, which is a good sign.

I started getting excited because I was so thankful that I may not have to be induced on 12 Jan itself, which was the original plan if my labour didn't kickstart. The reason why I fear being induced, apart from the pain is because there would be a higher risk of undergoing a c-section whilst what I wanted was to experience the process of a natural labour. 

Anyhow, the cramps that I felt, felt exactly like period pains but more severe. And every time the cramps began, I felt like shitting. 

It also started getting painful to walk around so I lay in bed that morning until it was time for my gynae appointment.

In the afternoon  :

Initially, I planned on driving to my gynae appointment but when my mum found out about it, she insisted on driving just in case I experienced contractions.

Just so thankful that I didn't end up driving because I didn't know that I would get contractions that morning itself. Mike came from work during his lunch break to pick me up to head to the gynae. 

Initially, the plan was to meet him there and I was supposed to drop him back to the office -_-"

#cluelessparentstobe

Lesson to be learned : Don't act like a hero near your EDD because you really don't know WHEN your contractions will strike or when labour will begin. 

Went to the gynae and the doctor asked me to see her immediately. Told her that I've been experiencing cramping, more discharge and had a slight pink stain a few days before. 

She checked my dilation and told me that I was already 3 cm dilated and that I already had "my show". I am guessing that "my show" was really that light pink discharge. Had I not worn a panty liner, I don't think I would have even noticed it.

She told me that I was already in early labour and I could check into the hospital that night itself or I could go in the next morning, before 9 a.m. if I could bear with the pain throughout the night. Basically, her advice was to just go to the hospital whenever I am unable take the pain any longer. 

I was then put on an ECG machine at the clinic to check on the baby's heart rate and contractions and apparently, my contractions were already going on for every 15 minutes.

After the check up, I started bleeding. Thought to myself that maybe this is the "real bloody show".

Went home after lunch to rest and I downloaded an app to time contractions whilst I just sat on the couch to "sit and wait" whilst watching an episode of "Cheese in the Trap", some new Korean drama.

In between, I could not stop reading about contractions and dilation. The more I read, the more anxious I became.

Told Mike to take half day leave. Could see that he was getting anxious and I was GLAD. Told him that I felt happy to see him anxious because he has been too calm all this while. Hahaha.

In the evening :

The contractions started to get shorter and shorter throughout the day with each contraction being 5 minutes apart. Pain was still bearable but it was no doubt getting more and more uncomfortable.

It was like a bad stomachache that won't go away.

At around 7 p.m., we had fish head noodles for dinner and headed straight to the hospital.

That night itself :

At the hospital, the first thing they did was to put me on the ECG machine again to monitor the baby's heartbeat and level of contractions.

The contraction pain was getting more and more severe. At 8.30 p.m. (about 8 hours from being 3 cm dilated), I found out that I was only 4 cm dilated. 1 cm over 8 hours! 

I started becoming afraid because it was just was TOO long!!!! Perhaps, I was being optimistic that I was 3 cm dilated this afternoon when the contractions just started in the morning itself so I was expecting to be twice as dilated since the last check up.

Looks like I won't be delivering on the 12th itself given how slow my dilation is.

Was given an enema but I knew that nothing much would come out since I went to the toilet that morning itself.

Asked the midwife when will it be too late to get an epidural and she didn't really answer my question. 

Instead she told me, "If you want it, now would be the time because it will also take time for the anaesthesiologist to come over to your ward."

At 9.40 p.m.,  the epidural was administered. The anaesthesiologist was really good. In fact, the pain that I was anticipating really was not as bad as I thought it would be. The pain of the IV line attached to my left hand was more severe than the epidural (based on my experience).

I think that my pain threshold reduces the moment I see needles being stuck in me whilst the epidural is administered at my back, where I didn't get to see what went on.

The pain only lasted for a few seconds when the needle was inserted in my back and before I know it, my back was already being taped up with the whole process being over.

Another dilation check at 11 p.m. was done and I was STILL 4 cm dilated. ARGH.

I knew that it was going to be a LONG, long night, but I really didn't know how long.

Was warned of the side effects of the epidural and although I am thankful that I did not experience nausea, I started itching ! My back was itching, my front was itching, my armpits were itching. ARGHHH. 

I was warned not to scratch myself because I would not be able to feel much and might lacerate my skin if I scratched. I was told to "massage" the itch (which really didn't help much at all).

Needless to say, I really couldn't sleep well the entire night and thought to myself, which is worse?

Having an itch that you cannot really scratch or a perpetual pain that goes on and off every 3 minutes?

[to be continued]

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Confinement.

Thought that I'd have plenty of time to write during this confinement period but it's actually more challenging than I thought it would be. 

Or perhaps, my ability to multitask has severely deteriorated as now, all I keep thinking about is the baby and reading up on "breasfeeding" and "how to increase my milk supply".

Wanted to document my labour experience (which I intend to do soon) while the memory is still fresh in my head. Although I have to admit, I made Mike take some "notes" for me while I was in labour because I wanted to document down a few details that I knew I'd forget after being discharged. Hahaha.

The past 5 days just whizzed by in the blink of an eye.
Been waking up every 3 hours in the wee hours in the morning to breastfeed the baby.

My body is now automated to wake up just right before the confinement lady passes the baby to me.

Earlier, I wanted time to fast forward during my pregnancy.

Now, I just want it to slow down because I don't want my baby to grow up too fast. 


One day old.

Monday, January 11, 2016

When when when?

It looks like I will be seeing my gynae tomorrow unless something happens tonight itself -_-

So anyway, reflecting back, I remember telling Mike that I was hoping to deliver before January 8th so that I could save money on the confinement lady and so that I could happily eat CNY food after the confinement period.

"All you think about is FOOD!"

Damn right. I want to eat my lap mei fun and yee sang.

x  x  x  x  x  x  x

So anyway, now that it has been past January 8th (sigh), I started talking about potential "nice" dates with Mike that Baby O could make an appearance -

10.01.16

A day before 10 Jan, I walked up and down the stairs at least 20 times and was drenched with sweat! I've read and also heard all kind of things that are supposed to help to induce labour - and one of them is walking!

Nothing happened at night after the "strenuous" exercise.  So goodbye 10 Jan.

11.01.16

On 10 Jan, I was determined to keep up the momentum so I told Mike that I wanted to walk around the mall for hours.

But that morning itself, my legs were aching from walking up and down the stairs. Went to Gardens in the afternoon and as I started walking, I started getting mild backaches. My feet were throbbing I had to continuously walk and sit and walk and sit in the mall.

My legs were breaking and swelling.

My initial goal of walking for at least 3 hours was totally unaccomplished. I think that I managed to only walk for an hour at most.

On 11 Jan, I walked around 1u for a short while after having brunch. At night, I had Korean BBQ and ate SPICY food to also help induce labour. Not sure if it was the spiciness of the kim chi soup but throughout dinner, my Braxton Hicks contractions were so intense and uncomfortable.

That night itself, I suffered from all the walking. My body was aching and my tummy was upset. I felt like collapsing and was dead tired.

However, I didn't sleep well that night. Waking up at every interval - hoping to wake up to some contractions, but there were none. Hahahaha.

I also remember waking up at 4 a.m. and was wondering whether the air con was off because I was sweating profusely.

Woke up this morning and saw that my panty liner has a very faint and little light pink coloured discharge and I got excited. Haha. Sorry, TMI, I know.

But I googled and this discharge could mean hours or days before delivery. Basically, I'll never know when exactly but it's a sign that labour is near.

12.01.16

Could it be? The 4% probability of appearing on the EDD?

13.01.16

If I have to see my gynae to be induced on 12 Jan, the baby will be making an appearance on 13 Jan.

16.01.16

Earlier, I was so adamant on being induced on 15 Jan if I HAD to be induced, so that I could deliver on 16 Jan 2016 (nice date right?) Hahaha. But I was just being silly after so many people told me that the date doesn't matter. ALL that matters is that the baby is healthy so I decided to go ahead with the Dr's plan.

x  x  x  x  x  x  x

I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT! How I'm so near the "finishing line" only to start a new and different journey.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The clock is ticking.

I find it amusing to think of how I could have possibly delivered on 2nd January 2016 but right now, I am still in full anticipation still wondering WHEN and also, HOW will the whole delivery take place.

When I went for my 38th week check up, apparently, my blood pressure was high and my gynae said that if my blood pressure does not go down within the next 2 days, I am to go to the hospital on 1st Jan to be induced for delivery on 2nd Jan.

After my appointment that day, I felt somewhat excited but very, very scared at the same time. Suddenly, I realised that I just was NOT prepared -_-"

Mentally, I was just thinking about enjoying the NYE celebration and I couldn't imagine going into the hospital the next day. I just couldn't, somehow. Although I thought that I was prepared for it to happen "anytime", finding out exactly WHEN it's going to happen scares me even more (when I know it should be the opposite).

I suppose that I'd rather react to something that has happened suddenly and going through the motion because I do not have a choice rather than KNOW exactly when. I am so weird, I know. Hahaha.

Anyhow, when I went to check my blood pressure the next few days, it was perfectly normal. In fact, it's actually on the lower side. Informed my gynae and she told me that she'll see me the following week and that I need not be induced.

So during the next check up, which took place today to be exact, my gynae said that if I do not deliver by my EDD, 12 Jan 2015 (which is my next check up date), she plans to induce me on that day itself. 

I spoke to her about 'waiting it out' but she told me that they used to wait til 41-42 weeks in the past but now, due to the higher risk of waiting, they will try to get the baby delivered within 4 days maximum from the EDD at 40 weeks.

Apparently, the baby's head will start to harden and it will be harder to come out once the baby is 41 weeks and more and delivery will be tougher and inducing will not work then.

Anyhow, she informed me that it could happen "anytime now" but HMMM, I'm not exactly feeling it happening anytime soon...BUT I know, I should never speak too soon. My gynae is hoping NOT to see me next week so we shall see it goes.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016

My first post in 2016 ! Happy New Year ! :)

New Year's Eve was spent having a potluck BBQ dinner at Alan's house
and I forced everyone to countdown for the sake of it
even though it was already 12:01 a.m.
because the guys were too busy playing Playstation games.

One of the guys said, "Wow. I've been playing this game since last year."
-_-"

Looking at older Facebook NYE pics, since about 4 years ago,
the past NY eves have been about house parties.
Our "partying" days are so over!

Just a couple of pics taken on NYE for memory sake :


The only thing that I would ever volunteer to bring for potluck parties - potato salad. Hahaha.

Seafood skewers




It was also Shazana's birthday on NYE.

There seems to be so many NYE babies.
I asked Shazana whether she was born naturally on NYE. LOL.
She said she was actually due in Jan but came out earlier, naturally.

Apparently, a lot of mothers are rushing to deliver year end babies
just so that their child can start school earlier and not "waste" a year.

Kiasu much?