#96 – Expect the unexpected! (Mummy tummy)

It’s not once, not twice but quite a few times that kind souls in public transport gave up seat to me thinking that I’m pregnant. My post pregnancy wobbly blob is still very visible and I feel really embarrassed at first cos I’m no longer pregnant, just fat. I take great pains to explain to them that I don’t need the seat as I’m not pregnant and that I’ve just given birth. Usually they can’t hear me clearly cos of the noise level, so I’ll just accept their kind gesture. But deep down, I’m so sad that the stubborn bulge doesn’t seem to go down at all.

A visit to my Gynae got me even more discouraged. She said that breastfeeding doesn’t help to lose weight. It has to be constant workout especially targeting at the core area. I’m terribly disillusioned now and I’m really not sure how to get rid of the pseudo-5-months pregnant tummy.

It’s really different this time cos regardless of how much jamu massage, wrap n bind I did (I even ate less, exercised more etc), I still don’t seem to be able to slim down. I am running out of ideas already, short of going for a tummy tuck. Sigh! Will someone help me please??!!

#92 – The Real Deal

At last, I’m fully dilated and now I’ve to concentrate on pushing Baby A out. After a few trial runs of pushing, I asked the nurses if Dr. C is coming into the delivery suite. They replied that she’s in the next room preparing… So I waited patiently. I felt that I was conserving my energy for the real push; although the practice rounds did take my mind off the increasingly unbearable contraction pain.

When Dr. C was finally here, she could see that I was in distress and asked me why. I told her that even with epidural, I found the contractions unbearable. She got down to her work quickly by showing me how to push effectively. She pressed on a point near the perineum and asked me to focus on that point to push down. After a few pushes and I’m not quite sure if I had used all the strength I had, Baby A was delivered. It was really fast and all was over in 4 hours flat.

Dr. C placed the baby across my body with his body bent over. He wasn’t crying and the body looked bluish. I kept asking if he’s alright and the doctor said yes. Then the nurse whisked him away and inserted a suction tool down his throat to clear the meconium that he probably had ingested whilst I was in labour. I chose not to look at it cos it pains my heart. Then I saw the nurse started bathing him and it was really a very comforting sight. I suddenly remembered and asked S to take more photographs and video of him (something that we didn’t do much of during L’s time).

After delivering the placenta which I asked to take a look this time (it looked like a large piece of kidney), we had an hour of skin-to-skin time with Baby A and then it was off to the normal ward. The great thing about delivering at night is that I had the entire night to rest and sleep before the visitors come. But the strange thing is that the side effects of epidural kept me awake all night. I felt tingling in my left foot intermittently and the adrenalin of the laborious night made it tough for me to catch any sleep at all. Each time I closed and opened my eyes, only 5 minutes had passed. This went on for the entire night, accompanied by S’s loud snores on the side. What a torture!

#91 – Here We Go Again…

(Sorry, this new post took quite some time as I was busy with a newborn and a toddler at home. It’s a good problem though. 🙂  )

After months of wondering how and when the second time labour will happen, it eventually happened on 29 Apr, Friday evening, when I was waiting for S by the roadside to pick me up after packing our dinner.

I felt a slight gush of discharge and then slight cramps in my lower abdomen. Throughout the drive back, the cramps became more frequent from every 15min to 5min. When I got home, I quickly checked and saw that the discharge was indeed mucous plug. After a quick call to the obstetrician, Dr. C advised me continue monitoring the contractions and proceed to hospital when it gets more frequent. So I decided to take a quick shower, wash my hair and have my dinner (although I really wasn’t sure if I could make it through dinner as the pain was getting more intense and definitely more frequent). I took a really quick bite anyway and waited for S to gobble up his dinner too. It was my favourite Sichuan food and really a pity that we had to throw most of it away as time (and pain) did not permit us to “fine-dine”.

Not forgetting that I need to look good in the pictures this time round, I started putting on make up on the drive to hospital, in between road humps and contractions. S looked at me in disbelief and exclaimed, “You can’t be serious?” Let’s put it this way, I did not regret looking better than the previous time in my post-partum pictures this time.

S dropped me off at the hospital and went to park his car. The kind security guard swiftly ushered me to the delivery suite and I was received by this nurse, let’s call her J. She started asking me all sorts of questions and mind you, the answers can be found in Dr. C’s hospital admission memo. I got a tad impatient and repeated that I’m having pretty frequent contractions and it’s best to get the epidural fast, especially cos I know for a fact that the drug will not work effectively after a certain point of dilation!

By the time she decided to call the anesthetist, I was already 7cm dilated. The doc came and admonished the nurses for being tardy in calling him. He also said something to the extent of “hope it’s not too late for epidural to work”. That’s one thing that I dread to hear since I’m not a fan of extreme pain. After administering the epidural, he quickly inserted the IV drip on my left wrist. Both needle pricks were surprisingly tolerable this time maybe cos I was already overwhelmed by the rather unbearable labour pain.

Guess what? The annoying nurse J continued asking me from the list of questions on her list. She went on and on to what seemed like eternity. I answered her as and when I could, i.e. in between contractions.

The labour progressed really fast. After about 2 hours, Dr. C came in to check on me while the other nurses swiftly got the apparatus ready. She examined me and told me that the delivery will be definitely that very night since my dilation was about 8cm then. She broke my water bag and I must say that it was quite a mess. Then she said that there was meconium in the sac and it’s critical that the dilation take place quickly or else we might have to consider c-sect. Now that’s really not my option so I prayed really hard for a swift dilation so that I can have a normal vagina birth.

I also took the opportunity to ask doc to increase the epidural dosage cos the pain seemed to have a way to catch up with the drug. R was monitoring the contractions and when I grimaced in extreme pain, he reported that it was the highest peak (i.e. worst contraction to-date). And for that, he was scolded by the senior nurse cos she said that such additional comment was not necessary. Hahaha!

There was another more elderly nurse who kept knocking onto the IV drip needle inserted into the right side of my left wrist. Under normal circumstances, it would have been excruciatingly painful for me. But with labour going on, it’s merely just relatively uncomfortable. Therefore, you can imagine the intensity of contractions. As a result of the constant knocking, the needle spot was severely bruised and it took a couple of weeks to recover.

Oh, how can I forget to mention that throughout this time when labour was progressing really fast, my dear husband was huffing and puffing and complaining to me about my decision to have the renovation during that time. He was obviously struggling with managing the contractors as the reno work couldn’t commence as planned since the hospital stay period was smacked during public holiday and weekend.

To be continued…

#88 – Timing is Everything

I’m feeling a little stressed about when Baby A is arriving. I’m into my 39Th week now and it’s critical that Baby A comes at a convenient for everyone. The renovation work has two parts. First is air-conditioner replacement and they only blocked out one-week time frame for me based on my EDD which is 1 May. Then there’s the actual renovation work that my contractor said he’s going away from 23-27 April, so ideally I try not to deliver during that time. And then there’s my husband. He has to attend his first AGM on 27 April and he has a Board Meeting on 6 May, so he asked me to time the delivery accordingly. I just gave him my ultimate annoyed look. You know what, I really wish I can time it to suit everyone’s needs.

#82 – Same but different?

 

I’m now Week 33 plus for the second pregnancy and I keep thinking about how the labour onset will be. I know for sure that it will not be the same as L’s and that got me kind of anxious. Where will I be? Will I be driving on the road? Will I be at home? Will I be out and about? I have no clue at all.

I have a feeling that Baby A will come early but Dr. C says that he is likely to arrive at around the same time as L, i.e. full term plus a few days. She also said that second baby will not get engaged until a few hours before labour. Now that’s something new to us. Isn’t it amazing how nature unfolds? The baby actually knows when to engage and prepare for his own arrival. 🙂

I was also told that the iron level in my blood was low so I was prescribed some iron pills and was instructed to load up on dark leafy vegetables and red meat. Actually that’s true cos I didn’t eat that much beef during this pregnancy compared to the last one. I hope that with me following her instructions, the iron level will go back up to a healthy level as it may be dangerous if it drops too low due to blood loss during delivery.

#77 – Baby A

Yes, we finally decided on his English and Chinese names and we are happy to share that with L so that she can start “talking” to him using his name too.

For this second pregnancy, much that I try not to eat so much, so as not to repeat having to deliver a sumo-sized baby again, my obstetrician warned me about my weight gain and by looking at Baby A’s weight trajectory, he is certainly not far from following L’s tiny foot steps.

S has been asking me about Baby A’s personality and I can’t really put my finger on it. He seems to be quieter than L and his movements are not as much too. It may just be the fact that we have L with us now so there’s inevitably not so much time to pay special attention on Baby A as we had on L. No wonder they say first born is lucky cos they get all the love and attention.

 

#17 – The Real Deal 

The admission was very smooth and the nurses were already expecting us (Dr. C probably pre-empted them). S helped with the admission forms while the nurses “worked” on me. First, the measurement of dilation, which I found rather intrusive, and then it was the enema that worked like magic. Then came the anaesthetist who was clinical in administering epidural. I felt a very cold flow of medication down my spine, which was not at all comfortable. I tried to negotiate with the medical team on not having too many needles inserted, like those of IV drips, or at least delay it, but I guess I needed to work a lot harder on my negotiation skills. Before I knew it, I was all hooked up. The good thing was that it was not as painful as I had imagined, as I’m one total wooze when it comes to needles and injections.

Dr. C came by at around 11pm and she informed us that the dilation was 1cm. She then used a sharp tool to literally break the water bag. There was even bigger gush of water this time. She then informed that the expected due time will be next morning after getting the drugs to work on further dilation. Then throughout the night, the nurses came by to check on blood pressure, contraction, dilation etc, every hour without fail. Not much rest if you ask me, but that was ok as I could not contain my excitement anyway. At about 5am in the morning, the nurses said that Dr. C. instructed them to lower the dosage of epidural so that I can feel the contraction and know when to push. I retaliated big time to that as I was not mentally prepared to experience any degree of labour pain. Not sure if they eventually reduced it but psychologically, I thought that I felt every bit of the contraction.

At around 20min passed 6am, many nurses came in to prepare the room for delivery. I was then 10cm dilated – all ready for action. One of the nurses wedged me open with her fingers repeatedly as if to exercise the muscles below. It was very uncomfortable and I asked her to stop. She then explained that it was to make it easier for baby to come through the birth canal later. Dr. C came in and started to get me to push. I breathed and pushed on every contraction. It was after 2 hours that she suggested that we use vacuum suction to assist in the delivery. I resisted and wanted to deliver without any help other than the epidural. The nurses continued to push my tummy downwards (annoying but it worked I guess). Dr. C asked S to look at the crowning and S acceded reluctantly. He’s the last person who would want to see the sight of blood. On sensing that I was running out of energy to push the 4kg baby out, Dr. C inserted the vacuum suction cap and told me that within 4 pushes, Baby L will be out. I heaved a sigh of relief when Baby L was finally out on second push. Now I know why they call it LABOUR.

S said that there’s a lot of blood loss post delivery. I was all too concerned about Baby L and I instructed him the quickly check on her after cutting the umbilical cord. Baby L cried really loudly and before I knew it, the nurses placed her on my chest skin-to-skin contact. It was really an amazing feeling that a newborn actually instinctively knew how to suckle. I was deadbeat by then and the last thing I can think of was to take picture. Dr. C had to remind S to quickly snap a few shots of Baby L and I…while she delivered the placenta (nope, I did not opt to take my own placenta as S thinks it’s kind of like cannibalism) and sewed me up nicely. The strange thing was that I did not feel any pain at all during episiotomy. On the contrary, I felt quite a bit of tugging from the stitch up post delivery that Dr. C had to inject me with more anesthesias to numb the sensation. I looked down on my tummy and all I could see was my wrinkly brown skin, which darkened a great deal post delivery. But thank god that everything went well and I was wheeled back to my suite shortly after, with Baby L plonked on my right side. I just told S that I did not wish to receive any guests that day as I was really exhausted. But just as we got out of the lift, I saw my sister and her family standing there, excited to see us (Baby L) of course. It was an exciting and eventful night that would remain in my memory, forever.