#108 – Bonding

Both the kids sleep in the same room with the helper. L loves being the elder sibling, looking after her brother all the time. We have this weekend sleep-over arrangement with L and she always looks forward to it cos she can play games with us before she sleeps and it’s a great bonding time together too.

So it’s Friday and during lunch, L looked lovingly at Baby A and told him that it’s Friday today and Che Che will sleep with Daddy and Mama, so he has to sleep on his own tonight. As she said it, she was stroking his chubby arm with tender loving care. The way she said it was simply so endearing… I just can’t get enough of her. My sweetheart!

#103 – New Sibling Syndrome (not again?)

Just when I thought that the new sibling syndrome was over, it happened again when I least expected it.

A couple of weeks ago (it was coincidentally the onset of the Chinese Hungry Ghost month), L started being “shy” and didn’t want to say hi to neighbours in the lift. I found that puzzling as she has always been a very sociable kid who doesn’t shy away from greeting even strangers in the lift. I didn’t want to think much of it, especially since they say that kids can sense supernatural beings that adults can’t. Then just last week, she started clinging onto me, refusing to go to her favourite English enrichment class. She would be fine until the moment I leave the classroom. She would act up by crying incessantly and say that she wants mama. Thank goodness that her teacher is well-trained in handling such situations. She swept L up and comforted her. I took a deep breath and left L in her care, turned around and left the classroom, in the midst of her deafening cries. It was heart-breaking, trust me. I stayed on outside the classroom until she stopped crying, which was just a while later and I heaved a sigh of relief before heading off for my weekly sandwich. I brushed it off as a one-off incident.

Then, it happened again at her Chinese enrichment class and again every morning at her pre-school. This is not funny alright cos it can be very tiring for a breastfeeding mum who’s suffering from sleep deprivation. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s just a passing phase. Really, I shouldn’t speak so soon in future…

#102 – Favouritism

Everyone has their favourite and I’m no exception. After all, L has been with us for 3 years. It helps when she’s so interactive, responsive, sociable, cheeky, funny…I can just go on and on. The fact that she genuinely loves her brother and always looking out for him makes me love her even more. For a 3.5 year old girl to behave this way, I think it’s very commendable. I don’t expect kids of this age to exhibit so much care and concern of another smaller individual who’s constantly vying for the parents’ attention. So yes, I love and adore L, over and above A at times. I know that I shouldn’t but I’m not a saint and I tend to compare the two of them.

When L was born, she was a fat baby and already very cute and chubby. It’s really hard to beat the weight of a 4-kg baby. And as she blossoms, she becomes cuter each day, always coming up with new acts to make us laugh and endear everyone to her. Her quick wit and cheekiness never fail to capture our hearts.

When Baby A was born, he was just about 300g short of L’s newborn weight but still considered a big baby. His looks are cute and his gaze was very alert, always noticing who’s around him. I must say that it’s rather unusual for newborn babies who are typically sleepy or asleep at most times. He’s not as interactive as L but as they say, boys develop slower and I’m still waiting, haha!

As Baby A grows day by day, he becomes better and better looking each day. His single eyelids became double eyelids one by one (starting with the left and then the right). It’s interesting to see the transformation of his looks, in a good way. He now has sharp features making him a very good-looking baby boy. I’m not just saying this cos I’m his mum but they are words of many others too. ;p

People always say “don’t compare your kids” but we are humans after all, aren’t we?

#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…

#87 – Sibling Love

I’m totally surprised actually… When I brought L to the kids’ toys section yesterday, I found her looking at toys that are for babies. So I told her that she has outgrown those toys and that they are not suitable for her. Then I was caught by surprise by her response. She said that she was buying them for Baby A. For a little girl who’s not even 3 years old, I must say that I’m very pleased with her exhibition of love for her unborn sibling.

#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.