Day of Ones (Part 2)

In 2012, I wrote a blog post on how some of the milestones of my life included the number one in it.

Well, this year the birth of my daughter made it even more special.

So…

1 October is the day Adrian and I signed our marriage certificate.

1 November is well, my birthday.

1 December marks the day Adrian and I joined our lives in holy matrimony.

And now,

1 January is my daughter’s birth day, which kind of makes her date and mine similar. ☺️ (1/11 and 1/1)

Well, it wouldn’t be nice to leave Adrian out of this One equation as he can be a part of it too. His birthday falls on the first month of the year? Heheh.

hmmmm..maybe we should schedule the birth of the next kid on 1 February? 😜

Journey into Motherhood

With almost two solid years of obstetric and gynecology training, I knew the medical management of labour like the back of my hand. I knew how to induce and stop labour. I knew how to augment labour. I knew the danger signs and emergencies which can take place. It was almost my second nature when I worked at Slim River.

However, when I experienced labour for the first time on that fateful 31 December 2013, I seem to have entered an unfamiliar world. I entered the labour room at about 3ish that evening and had all the necessary prep done. My gynae ruptured the membranes at about 4ish. It is from here onwards to which I felt like I had no clue what was going on. Y’see, normally we’d use a partogram to guide one’s timing of labour and when the need for medications or when labour has taken too long for a mother. My gynae had warned me he would take things slowly but I really did not expect the pace to which I was put into. Augmentation started a few hours after rupture of membranes and from there on I was left to contract and dilate pretty much the entire night. The medical side of me started worrying about fetal distress since it’s such a long labour and I was regularly glancing at my baby’s heart rate from the monitors. Thankfully she was doing quite well given such long hours of continuous strong contractions. My epidural had some hiccup issues where by I started feeling some pain in the wee hours and needed a top up to alleviate the pain.

I was fully dilated at about 7 the next morning and normally in a government setting , this is when you need to start pushing and you’re given a rough estimate of about one to two hours to pop the baby out. Surprisingly I was left to continue contracting without pushing so that the baby’s head could descend further naturally. I actually only started pushing at about 10:30am when my gynae finally arrived. Given the nature of the epidural and the complete loss of sensation, I had difficulty pushing her effectively. I ran through all the techniques I knew in my head and all the advices I had given to dozens of women during my working days at the labour room. It’s one thing to know them by heart but oh-so-a-whole other thing to actually do it. The epidural medication was turned down a notch to help me feel what’s going on. The moments after that were a total blur. I started feeling really strong painful contractions and because of that, I started acting weird… just like my patients were. Sometimes the pain gets so strong you feel like you can’t push and you want to just straighten your limbs to alleviate it, but you kinda have to push, or no baby’s coming out (as I would nag my patients). After two hours of pushing and some help from my gynae, little Chloe breathe her first breath at 12:46pm on New Year’s Day.

After the whole ordeal and thinking about what happened in that labour room, I was pretty overwhelmed with embarrassment and guilt towards all the women I had seen as patients in the past. Yeah, we talk about empathy and trying to understand what the patients go through. Oh I did that. I understood it was painful (no secrets there), I knew it was difficult, but when you truly experienced it yourself, it’s a whole different level of understanding. I felt like I wanted to turn back time and apologize to the women who refused to push in the wee hours of my on call nights and all I wanted her to do was push to save myself an unnecessary C-section. I wanted to say sorry for the times I felt selfish towards them when what they were going through was truly difficult and painful.

The best part was after everything has settled down and I was cleaned up and waiting to be transferred to the ward, Adrian looked at me and asked, “And you wanted how many children again?”

πŸ˜“

Musings from the Labour Room II

Okay. So right now I’m in the labour room. Still able to write even though I’m supposedly having pretty good contractions, thanks to the wonders of epidural!

Been having off and on regular contractions for the past 2 weeks but disappointingly never seemed to progress to established labour. Today during a routine clinic appointment, the doctor found that I was actually dilated enough to be sent to labour room. So off we went. It is a pretty exciting date to spend in the delivery room as I could possibly deliver this year or the next. From the looks of it right now, we’re thinking probably next year.

Having been trained in obstetrics and gynecology, it certainly feels quite different to be at the other end of treatment. Honestly I’m pretty nervous for when it’s time to push her out. Praying it’ll be easy and smooth.

So let me describe how the room is like to you. I’m on the bed with CTG leads stuck on my belly to monitor the contractions and baby’s heartbeat. An IV access inserted in my left radial vein with syntocinon and fluids gradually flushed into my system and an epidural catheter nicely stuck on my back.

There’s music in the room. Hubby’s playing the jazz playlist from my phone. He is sitting opposite me playing games on his laptop. Yes. He is playing games. I tell you, we are probably the most chillaxed couple in a delivery suite. Perhaps it’s because we are so immuned to the labour room environment that we are practically just waiting for me to be fully dilated to push baby out. I can guarantee you that the atmosphere will change by then. More anxiety and adrenaline.

Still a little disappointed that I did not deliver in time before my sister left for the US. Might I add that I have super awesome parents who have to cope with so much changes in the coming year. First with their youngest and most sheltered daughter going away to study half the globe away. Then there’s their son who’s preparing for a wedding in the middle of the year and now slipping into new roles of being grandparents for the first time. My love, salutes and sincerest appreciations to them.

Alrighty. Better sign off now and hopefully by tomorrow we will introduce our newest family member. 😊. Before I forget, have a happy new year!

She dances in my belly

So yeah, I’m about 30 weeks along now. Time really is just speeding by and in about 10 weeks (or less!) we’ll be welcoming a little angel into our lives. Oh, I can’t wait to finally hold her in my arms! Been feeling her joints, kicks and jabs for the past months and it’s probably time to see those culprit limbs. πŸ˜›

I’m probably one blessed mom because the pregnancy has been smooth sailing so far. I’ve been sheltered from morning sickness and awkward food cravings. I can eat and I can sleep quite well (on most days, aside from some insomniac nights).

Oh, but the other symptoms… definitely got them. Let’s not even start with weight gain. Leg cramps. The swelling. The mood swings. The umm.. changed toilet habits. But nothing compares to the sweet constant reminder of a little growing being inside you when she moves.. and oh, does she move!

As the due date starts to draw near, we’re preparing to buy a whole new lot of baby stuff and it’s quite an overwhelming project. There’s so many things out there in the store, so many brands and so many things to choose from.. not to forget the high price that comes with it. That being said, everything is pretty at an exciting stage now and we’re just taking it one day at a time and she will be here before we know it! πŸ™‚