Friday, June 13, 2008

Journey to motherhood......continued

**the labor**

As I am sitting back, waiting for the new arrival, hubby and I thought of a very important matter. Whether to send our baby to a baby-sitter or to take care of her myself. We don't want to tie down our parents by sending our baby to them. We seriously thought about it and finally decided for me to resign from my position and take up the new challenge (it is really challenging) of raising my precious little one.

My expected due date was Dec 10, 2006. So, I tender my resignation during end of October. Our plan was to serve my 1-month notice and settle all work issues till end of November, then 2 weeks time for me to relax and prepare myself, physically and emotionally, for the labor. Well, like I said earlier, everything is in God's mighty hands. Things are not as planned.....

Towards the end of my pregnancy, around week 35, Dr. started to change the appointment frequency to weekly. So as to ensure that everything's fine for that big day and to check if there's an early arrival. As the visit is so frequent, I would just take the morning half off then continue working in the afternoon.

My appointment dates (dd/mm/yy) are 9/11/06 (everything's ok with the baby); 16/11/06(same thing, both mommy and baby is in good condition) then 23/11/06. During this visit, my gynae did a check to see if my cervix has dilated. To our surprise, YES it had, by 2cm (normally, need to be dilate at least 10cm to be able to give birth). No contraction at all? Oh heart pound as quickly as it can. To top up the excitement, I was bleeding after the little check by my gynae. Then, multiplied by a comment by my Dr. "I'll just put down your next appointment on 30/11/06, but you will surely deliver before the date!" Oh my, oh my.....

What should I do now? Guess, I still need to drive back home right? But, how about work? I don't think I should be in the office now. I should be at home, resting and concentrating on any sign of early delivery. So, I drove right back home, calling my hubby on the way home.

Below I pen down how the others know about this news and their reaction:

  1. Mom-in-law ~~ When I was still at the clinic (this visit seems a little longer than usual), about to leave, my mom-in-law called me to see if everything's ok. I wanted my hubby to be the first to know, plus I don't want to panic her so soon, so I told her everything is just alright (but with a little tremble voice). As soon as I reach home, I told her the news. She's, off course, excited and told me that she suspected something I sounded different on the phone. Then, off course when friends called up, she broke the news to them.

  2. My parents (especially my mom) ~~ After I called my hubby, I called up my mom. Told her the news. Off course, she's excited but she's also panic. She mentioned that my cousin's wife delivers a few hours after first "bloody show". And so on and so forth.....I am asked to be extra careful and alert on any other signs of early childbirth. The very next day, my parents drove up from Taiping (a town about 1 hour from Penang), just to standby (my mom-in-law had an accident earlier and broke her arm).

  3. Co-workers ~~ I have this habit of calling my co-workers every time after my check-up, while driving back to office, to check on the lunch location so that I may join them for lunch. Off course, on 23/11/06, I never called up. When I was back online in the afternoon (after lunch time), they all asked the same thing, "So, when are you going to deliver?" I talked to my boss on my condition and we agreed that I will work from home until the deliver day arrives. Auditors (I was dealing with year-end audit at that time) and my successor quickly arrange time with me to close-up on issues and knowledge pass down. Was quite busy on that day (23/11/06, a thursday) and friday.

So, it was then, a slow, slow wait for the BIG day to finally arrive. Thursday passed by. Nothing happen. Friday also flew pass us. Still, nothing happen. No contraction. No more "bloody show". Everything is back to normal. As normal as it can be.

Friday went pass us and its Saturday. As my mom-in-law had a broken arm, we hired an hourly maid to help up with spring cleaning. You must be thinking why on earth need to spring clean? Well, my mom-in-law is getting ready for the 2 coming big events! One is the birth of her 3rd grandchild and two, the wedding day of her second son in december. So the maid came and does all the cleaning with my mom's help. Off course, I just sit there. Can't help much. My hubby was not at home, he had a whole-day training that day. But, I have my "kepo" (means busy body, just joking) sister accompany me (I can't remember why she's there...hehehe).

Another day went by, and there's still no sign at all. Night came. Strange. I just can't put myself to sleep. No pain. No discomfort. Very strange. Like every other nights, I have to go to the toilet very often. At about midnight, there's this urge to go again. But just as I was sitting on the toilet bowl, some water gushes out. Oh water bag is leaking! I quickly get back to my room and wake my hubby up. We then wake my mom-in-law up and get ready to go to the hospital.

I have learnt from many sources that first childbirth will normally take a few hours. Many have given advice that once there's any signs of labor, keep calm and should eat something, so as to gain energy that is much needed during the labor process. Well, knowledge is one thing, and real life situation is another.

We were so so so excited and nervous. What if the baby comes right out? So, without much delay, we head off to the hospital. Once there, I walked into the emergency room and was then wheeled to the labor ward. My husband was sent to settle the hospitalisation procedure. And as for me, I was whisked to change into ward clothing and then on the bed, with straps around my big big belly. These straps are for monitoring the baby's heartbeat.

The midwife came, ask me some questions, then check if my cervix has dilated further. Nope. Still 2cm. Midwife says nothing we can do now, just wait till morning. So, I was left alone in that room (in the labor ward but not the labor room), waiting for more signs to come.

As I was lying there all alone, slowly I started to feel some contractions, but very mild ones. The heartbeat monitoring machine is loud, making me more nervous. The time seems to pass very slowly. I began praying for God to calm me down and to be with me throughout the whole process.

Hubby settled the procedures and got a private room (for me to stay in later). Came to talk to me for a while and then hushed by the nurses to the other room. Again I am alone. I started to feel a little bit hungry. Oh I asked the nurses if I could get something to eat. The answer....nope (just in case I need to go into operation later). A small cup of milo is all I get

At about 6am, the midwife came again. Checked and it's still 2cm. No choice, have to wait some more. At about 9am, my gynae came. Also did a check. Still 2cm. What is wrong with this cervix?? As my water bag is already broken, there's a need to go into labor real soon (if not mistaken by 24hours), to ensure that the baby is not vulnerable to infections. So, Dr. suggested an Induction and I was then put on drip.

Well, well, well. If there's only slight contractions earlier while I was waiting, now it's like ten (or even more) times the pain. The pain is not there all the time. It will increase when there's contraction, then cool off a little and then come again. This is painful! Doctor says, we will wait 2 hours.

Dr. did not come exactly 2 hours later. He came in at about noon. Checked and has dilated a little more (I can't remember how much already). Still have to wait. During the 2 hours, the pain became a little unbearable, so I took a shot of Pethidine. It really helps in reducing the pain.

Later in the afternoon, the Dr. came again. But still, cervix has not dilate enough. So have to wait. Argh...another 2 hours to wait. Before the Dr. came, I was busy calling a friend of mine, whom wedding is on the same. When, the Dr. saw that I can still make phones calls, he commented, "Hmm....still so relax. Can increase the dosage of induction." And so be it. The dosage is increased and the PAIN......UNBEARABLE.

This time, everytime when there's contraction, besides the pain, there's this urge to push. But I still can't push!!! Argh......

2 hours and 2 hours....I don't really remember how many times the Dr. check on my cervix. The Dr. did a last check around 10minutes to 6pm. This time, dilated to 8cm. Almost there....but the baby's head is too high up. I was asked to try to push. Pushed and couldn't make it. So, it was then decided to have a cesarean section. I was given something to sign (but the signature is crooked cause I'm in pain), then pushed to the operation theatre.

Once there, I was given regional anesthesia (I think this is what they call it; it's for pain relief from waist onwards). Wow...the pain relief works almost immediately. I am so sure because I was suffering from a contraction pain when I am given the shot. Immediately the pain is gone!

I can't see what's the doctor doing, but I can hear their surprised exclamation. The doctor and the nurses all say "Wow" when they see my baby. Because, she's such a big baby. Tell you the size later. When they carry the baby out, someone beside me told me that the baby is coming out. So I looked to my right, and there she is. I can't see really clear, cause I don't have my glasses with me. The medical staff gave a slap on the buttock, so she cried, but for a few seconds only. So, the medical staff gave her another few hit, and she continue crying. A nurse carry her to me and let me kiss my little one for the first time.

So, this is how Grace Chee Jia Yun came to the world. She was born on November 26, 2006 at 6.38pm in Adventist Hospital, Penang with a birth weight of 3.93kg (8lbs 10oz), measuring at 54cm and head circumference of 35cm.

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