The birth story

I had meant to jot this down long long ago! But never really got down to doing it. Haha. And she’s already coming 16mths now… oh well, I just decided that it should be written down just so that I can remember how it was and next time she can read about it. πŸ™‚

I went for my usual routine checkup with Dr KT Tan at KKH on 7 July 08 (37 weeks). Before the appointment, she had scheduled me for an appointment with the sonographer to determine the birth weight of Alicia as she said it would be a more accurate estimate of her birth weight. Alicia’s birth weight was estimated to be 2.6kg. That’s pretty small for a baby in these days, but in the end she ended up even smaller than estimated. Haha.

Anyway, during my gynae visit, I mentioned to her that I noticed a decrease in fetal movement that day. The whole morning at work, I think I only felt her kick twice, no matter how much I talked to her, she just didn’t move much. And usually when I teach in class, she’d be very excited and kick me very hard, sometimes so hard that her little kicks and punches can be seen by the students through my blouse. That morning, nothing much happened and I was very worried. The gynae was worried too so she put me on CTG for 30min to check for fetal movement. After that half hour, another gynae came by to check for the results as KT Tan had gone off for some other duties. The gynae told me that there was no fetal movement! So she admitted me to the delivery suite. I had no idea what that meant and I just followed instructions.

At the delivery suite, I was put on CTG again and some other machine. On and off, doctors and nurses came and went. At about 8pm, KT Tan came by and asked me if I wanted to induce Alicia because of the decreased fetal movement. At that point, I was very confused and I told her no. But later, I decided I wanted the induction but she’d left. So instructions were given to the nurses to induce me and she said she’d see me in the morning. I was induced at 9pm and was told that KT Tan would burst my waterbag only when the dilation was at least 2cm.

It was a long wait.

8 July. Still no news of little Alicia. Dilation was really slow. After a whole day, I dilated only 1cm. And I was wheeled in and out of the delivery suite, each time wondering if I was gonna deliver. The nurses said my contractions were very strong and regular and every nurse that came in asked me the same question, “Not painful?” Well, no. Then their response was, “Not painful, cannot deliver.” Strange logic I thought to myself.

9 July. KT Tan encouraged me to take a walk around the hospital. She said it might help with faster dilation. So I walked and walked… round and round.

10 July. Dilated 2cm. KT Tan finally burst my waterbag at 7+am. I thought this was it. It was going to happen. That empty crib in the corner of the delivery ward was gonna be filled with my little pink bundle of joy. I had been staring at that corner for the longest time. And this was the day. Well, I wasn’t wrong about the day. But it took an awfully long time to deliver! I started feeling the painful contractions from 9+am. I relied on the laughing gas for pain relief. Nurses kept coming in to ask if I wanted epidural and I insisted I was going to get through it without epidural. But I just wasn’t dilating fast enough. The nurses kept increasing the dosage for the induction to make contractions stronger so that Alicia could see me faster. But it didn’t work. More painful contractions yes, but faster birth process, no. Finally, at 3+pm, I succumbed to the seductive calls for epidural. I was told I had only dilated 1cm for the whole day, making it 3cm in total. That was it. The last straw. If I were further in the dilation, I would have just bore the pain. But this was ridiculous. Almost 6hrs of pain and only 1cm. How much longer did I have to suffer this pain? I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started crying and asked for epidural. I heard the midwife say, “She’s finally crying!” I find that amusing now because I recall nurses coming in to check if I’d started crying. Not very amusing to me then. πŸ™‚

Epidural must be one of the best inventions in human history. I felt so much better after the epidural. And dilation was faster too. Within the next 2hrs, I dilated 2cm. Finally at 6+, KT Tan came by to check on me again. Apparently, dilation was stuck at 5cm and she advised me against continuing to wait so she proposed an emergency C-sect. Till today, I still don’t really know why it’s called an “emergency” because I didn’t think it was one. But I guess I’d never know why.

Anyway, after KT Tan announced that she was gonna operate on me, things happened so fast I had no time to think. Nurses rushed into the ward within seconds after her decision was announced and I was transferred to another bed to be wheeled into the operating theatre. The next thing I knew, I was in the operating theatre and within 10minutes, I heard Alicia’s cry. A nurse brought her to me. I thought Alicia looked rather gross and slimy but kissed her slimy head anyway when I was told to do so. Haha. I heard them announce that Alicia was 2.43kg, 45cm. My tiny girl. πŸ™‚ Born at 1829hrs, 10 July 2008.

My mind was in a whirlpool then. Spinning. Spinning. I felt like puking. I told a nurse. She told me that it’s normal. I didn’t want to hear that it’s normal. I really felt like puking. I held back that feeling of puking and hoped it would go away. Then there were the shivers. I kept shivering, and not because I was cold. Again, that was supposed to be normal side effects. Then I asked when I could breastfeed Alicia. I’d read that it’s best to breastfeed as soon as possible. But I was told by that nurse that I couldn’t breastfeed for now till the anaesthetic wears off. Disappointed I was to hear that. I almost cried. This wasn’t what I had expected at all: first, I was admitted early to hospital when I only came for a routine check, then next I had a super long delivery (counting from the moment I was induced), then an unplanned C-Sect, and now, I was told I couldn’t breastfeed.

Anyway, the shivers lasted quite long. And I only felt better when it was almost midnight. My little girl. I finally held her in my arms. She was already busy looking around even though she was a newborn. Bright and alert eyes. Looking at the surroundings, the people.

Looking at her mamma. πŸ™‚

The joy of motherhood.

My journey begins.

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