A Prince is Born!

Posted by ~Summer~ on March 01, 2021
in ,

Having gone through childbirth thrice, I thought I had earned enough experience and gotten familiar with the whole process. Obviously, I didn't expect myself to be in for a surprise for this fourth baby of mine. Well, it turns out that life is unpredictable and you never know what tomorrow will bring.

We were still in the midst of Chinese New Year and since I was only 35 weeks along the pregnancy and had carried all my previous babies to full term, no one would have thought that our darling prince had made other plans and wanted to surprise us by arriving on the twelveth day of the Year of the Ox. For those who are eager to share more about how Ansel came into this world, here goes his birth story.

Date: 23 February 2021
Venue: Singapore

Right, that is actually the date that the baby was born but to get to start of his story, we have to rewind it a little. Let's go!

22 February

5:00pm I woke up from my nap with a startle, only to realise that I had wet my pants a little. I did a check in the bathroom but I was not absolutely sure if I was leaking amniotic fluid or if it was merely pee, so I decided to just wait and see.

5:18pm I sent the hubby a text to give him the heads up and told him I will continue to monitor the situation. He was just as surprised as me but I think at that point, neither of us thought it meant the start of labour anytime soon.

6:00pm For the next hour, there were the intermittent leaks which were small but noticeable. I put on a pad and started to see a slight pinkish colour in the fluid which was also odourless, convincing me that it was not my pee. 

6:45pm All the kids were up and while I told them that I might need to go hospital to do a check. I also rushed to heat up their dinner for them so they would not be hungry. Yup, gotta think for these three and put on my calm face though I was getting a little anxious within.

7:02pm I made a call to Thomson Labour Ward and the nurse advised me to go in immediately. Oh well, I sent the hubby a text who came back within half an hour while I rushed to take a shower, eat some food and get my stuff ready. I was soooo glad that I had decided to be a bit more kiasu and pack my hospital bags the week before because you really never know when it's gonna happen.

7:45pm We made our way out after saying goodbye to the kids. The boy was really sad and reluctant to let both Papa and Mama leave so we had to pacify him a little first. At that moment, I had a big gush of fluid leaking out which made me wet my pants (again!) and I dashed to change. Next, we drove out and made our way to the hospital. The hubby gave me a towel to sit on, just in case, haha.

8:00pm We had a little trouble finding the delivery suite (our last visit was 5 years ago lor) and had to ask around. After registering at the counter, I was told to change into the hospital gown and the nurse hooked the baby monitor around my tummy so we could hear the baby's heartbeat, which was a huge, huge relief for me because I was just so worried about him from the start. She took a look at the screen and asked me "You just had a contraction, did you feel it?" At that point, it was so mild that I probably didn't take any notice of it yet.

8:15pm The nurse did a check and said I was 1-cm dilated. She also confirmed that my waterbag had burst which meant I was officially in labour already. What?! Okay, so baby IS gonna come soon and will be my first premature one.

8:20pm She asked the hubby to take our IDs and do the hospital admission while she asked me lots of questions on my pregnancy history, the number of babies I have and which years they were born in, whether I went through natural delivery etc. I also took an antibiotic pill because I was leaking amniotic fluid all the way.

8:30pm I did a video call with the kids to let them know that I would be staying in the hospital and told them that I would miss them.

8:40pm Another nurse on duty came by to do a Dexamethasone jab for me (on the side of my bum!) and told me it was to mature the baby's lungs, which was crucial since he would be born prematurely. She told me I would feel sore when the liquid was pushed in through the syringe and it really stung a little. But, anything to make our babies healthy, right?

8:45pm My gynae arrived and I am always so relieved to have her around. She did a culture swab for me and confirmed that I was merely 1-cm dilated. When I asked her if I was going to give birth that night, she replied "Hopefully we can wait till tomorrow".
9:00pm Nonetheless, the string of events proceeded just in case the baby decided to accelerate the labour process. I was given the fleet enema to clear my bowls and as always, I was impressed by how fast it worked. Back in Sweden, we didn't have to clear our bowels because the nurses were prepared to handle the mess if it did happen. Cultures vary greatly in different countries when it comes to childbirth, just like beliefts vary greatly from person to person too. No right or wrong about it.

9:30pm I was given a sandwich to eat and Milo to drink. After talking to the nurse who agreed that we might have a long wait ahead since I was not gonna get induced, we decided that the hubby should go home to take care of the other kids while I stayed on to wait myself.

11:40pm Finally, the kids fell asleep. Over at my end, mild contractions started and continued into the night. However, they were sparse, irregular and not painful so I knew they were not the real thing yet.

12midnight A fellow preggie mum who was at 39-weeks checked into the observation ward beside me and the string of questions for her began. With all the bright lights, the noise and the nurses going in and out, I could foresee that it was going to be a sleepless night ahead.

23 February 

12:20am I was feeling thirsty and asked for water because I forgot to bring a water bottle. 

12:30am The nurse came in to take my blood pressure and also hooked the monitor back on to check on the contractions.

1:00am Hubby came back as we were both unsure of what was going to happen next and if the baby was going to come soon. He brought me snacks which I was thankful for and my toiletries which I had forgotten to bring along, thanks to the kids who helped me to pack them one by one when we spoke. Yay, now I got to wash my face and brush my teeth. Very important to keep myself feeling refreshed and ready for the battle ahead.
1:30am After eating cookies and drinking Milo (again!), I washed up and as the contractions were still mild, the nurse took off the baby monitor to let me rest.
2:30am Since the observation ward was a 4-bedder and there was only an armchair for the hubby to sit on, he decided to go and rest in the car instead as we waited.
3:00am My neighbour left and the lights were dimmed, Finally, I thought maybe I could get a bit of rest. 
4:20am Well, turns out I just COULD NOT sleep. How to, with the contractions and the leaks going on. Furthermore, I felt the need to pee every now and then. Yawnz.
4:40am The nurse came back to hook on the monitor and check on the baby while taking my blood pressure too. She asked me for my breakfast order and whether I wanted fish, chicken or pork porridge. I decided to go for fish. Then I had a nice chat with the nurse on duty who told me that she was also born at 35 weeks too and weighed 2kg then. By the way, I am also a preemie and I was born at over 34 weeks. She told me that I would get a second dose of the Dexamethasone for the baby's lungs later that day and she also explained that waiting naturally, instead of inducing, was so that we would not stress the baby.
5:00am I heard newborn cries from next door, Oh wow, how long has it been since I heard this sound! I felt happiness for the mum and at the same time, was looking forward to hearing the cries of my own baby boy too.

5:30am The nurse came in again to remove the monitor and yet another mum checked in beside me. Yup, it was busy night for the staff which also meant that it was really not possible to sleep.
6:10am Gave the hubby a call to make sure he woke the kids and brought them to school. 
7:30am The nurse came by and used the heartbeat monitor to check on the baby again and told me that he was doing well. Phew. 
7:40am I called hubby to make sure he brought Asher to school and that they could find his uniform and remember to pack his snack. Told the boy I missed him so much too.

8:15am Well, I was notified that 2 out of 3 kids did not go to school in the end. Haha. Oh well. Breathe, Mama, breathe and let go.
8:30am Dr Tan, my gynae, came to do a check. The contractions were still sparse and I did not further dilate since last night. She suggested that we transfer to the ward to wait so that I could get more privacy and hopefully, time to rest before the delivery. She said the latest we would wait was till the next day evening so we kind of assumed that our baby would be delivered on 24th Feb.

9:20am I packed my stuff as I waited for the ward to be ready. I was instructed not to wear a bra or even panties throughout the night which felt really uncomfortable since I was leaking fluid. So when the nurse told me to put on my panties so we could make our way to the ward later, I kind of jumped for joy. Haha.
11:30am After eating the fish porridge which was cold and not very tasty, it was a long two-hour wait before we were told to make our way to ward 513. In a wheelchair! Yup, I told the nurses I could walk on my own but I also understood it was their job to take care of me. They asked me to sit in the wheelchair while they helped to carry all my belongings to the ward too. Thank you!
11:45am The ward was surprisingly big and a welcome change from the observation ward the night before. I had a in-room toilet, a work desk, a TV, a pantry, a bedside table, an armchair and even a sofa bed so that the hubby could stay over if possible. Yup, paying for a single ward was worthwhile, especially in this case when the wait was going to be long and exhausting.

12:30pm After speaking to a dietician about my GDM condition and hearing her advice to stay away from sugary stuff and carbs for another month, it was ironically time to order LUNCH, haha. Gosh, if there's one thing I've missed about my previous stays, it's the meals and how I get to eat on my bed every time. I got to choose from my meals from a mix of Asian, Western, Chinese, Confinement and Vegetarian cuisine for every meal, woohoo.

1:20pm The kids arrive! Yup, the hubby brought the two younger ones over since they didn't go to school that day. They loved the room, called it a 'staycation' and were just over the moon to be able to join me. Awww. 

2:30pm It was naptime in my ward and I was glad to see that both the kids were able to catch some rest. Asher slept on the bed right beside me and I was reminded of the fact that he was gonna be big brother in just a day or two. Life is definitely gonna change for all of us very, very soon.
4:00pm Dr Tan came into my ward and made the decision that we were gonna start to INDUCE because the leaks were getting less and she was worried about the fluid level. The hubby and the kids were still present and we all started getting into a frenzy as we made sure we could get the kids home safely first and that the hubby still had time to rush back to accompany me for the labour. Dr Tan was quite confident that the whole process would last till after midnight though in my heart, I felt quite skeptical as Asher only took three hours to come once induction began.
4:30pm I was brought back into the labour ward while the hubby took the kids home. The nurses took my blood pressure and hooked the monitor onto my tummy. At this point, I was feeling a little sleepy and wondering if I would have the strength to push the baby out later. All I was hoping for was a natural delivery without epidural and I really wanted myself to be able to do it like how I survived the previous three childbirths.

5:00pm I was given fleet enema to clear my bowels once more. Yup, it wasn't as if I ate a lot but the medicine still worked.
5:15pm They transferred me to Birthing Room 2, which was where I would be having my baby. The doctor came to insert the tube into my left hand and started me on oxytocics. Yup, I was officially induced. Haha. The nurse also gave me the second does of Dexamethasone and this time round, on the other side of my bum.
5:45pm At this point, I was STILL only 1-cm dilated. My doctor said it would be a long wait and more painful this time round because unlike the previous babies, my cervix had barely started to dilate. Once again, she predicted it would go past midnight and told the nurse that while I only took Entonox, or so called the laughing gas, previously, if it gets too painful, she might need to give me something more for the pain. Oh wow, I think that was what scared me. Haha. Not to be daunted, I was still determined to try my best and hang in there. No painkillers, no epidural, I am gonna do it, I told myself.

5:55pm I heard yet another newborn crying just next door. Awww. It was a sweet melody to me. Soon, I told myself, soon I will hear the sound of my baby prince too.

6:15pm My cheese sandwich and apple juice arrived and I was thankful since I felt famished. And yes, by this time, the contractions had begun to get stronger and stronger. Luckily, I was still able to watch TV a while and entertained myself by watching Ellen DeGeneres and Wheel of Fortune.
7:30pm I did a video call with the kids to tell them that Xiaodi would be arriving into the world soon and reminded them to be good at home as they waited for me. Just at this point, the hubby came into the birthing suite and I was glad to have his company. For the next one hour, I endured the pain of the contractions by just holding onto his hand and reminding him to tell me to breathe in and out. 

8:30pm We had a chat with one of the nurses and shared with her about our experience in Sweden, where there was no nursery, where epidural was not encouraged, where new parents were taught to be more independent etc. She was very interested and amazed, and had some of her own funny stories to share too. She saw me in pain during a contraction and asked if I wanted the gas, to which I replied "Soon, soon." She reminded me time and again to call for them once I had any slight inclination to push because they would need time to get the doctor over and since it was my 4th delivery, they knew things could develop fast.
8:45pm The pain intensified swiftly. While I could still chat with the nurses and watch TV previously, I was finding it harder to do so and every time a contraction came, I held onto the hubby's hand tightly and started to wince. So I told the nurse to give me the laughing gas, which I knew would not make me high but would make me feel better psychologically.

9:00pm You know what made me endure those super, duper painful contractions? Nope, not the gas actually. Whenever the pain came, I pictured in my mind my kids, my parents, my in-laws and the hubby cheering for me at the race and telling me to never give up but to fight on with all my might. Yup, that honestly did wonders for me and kept my mind on something else rather than the pain. I also thought of how all my babies had grown up since Day 1 and I pictured them when they were just born too. I knew they were all rooting for me - I could almost hear them saying "Go, Mama, go! You can do it!" - and I wanted to do it for them, for myself and for the baby. 
9:15pm I wasn't sure if I wanted to push but I felt a dire need to call for the nurse and tell them that it would be soon, a decision which proved to be a lifesaver because what happened after was as quick as lightning. The nurses came in, did a check and said I was 7-8cm dilated as they decided to call for the doctor. However, with the next contraction, I felt the urge to push and I got frantic and started shouting into the gas mask "I need to push already, 要推了,要推了,要推了!" which I think got everyone anxious too. Haha. The hubby stroked my head and told me to calm down, telling me to breathe into the mask and to endure. It was, of course, much easier said than done and it's something husbands will never truly understand. Still, seeing his calm demeanor was what managed to compose me slightly for the next couple of contractions, though at that point I was rolling my eyes, staring into blank space and feeling like I had half of my life left only (只剩下半条命).
9:25pm The nurses were supposed to change shift and I think my situation made some of them stay back to help too. One of the nurses, the one who chatted with me about Sweden, was saying "Sure, we can stay and help too." So I had a handful of nurses  in the room but I still did NOT see my gynae yet and that always makes me very nervous. At that point, I felt like I couldn't really hold it in anymore and one of the nurses stuck her finger into my cervix to guide me along and and said "This will help you to prevent a bad tear". And she had to repeat the words "bad tear" a few times because we couldn't figure out that she was saying, haha. I really liked her though. She was calm and assuring and told me I kept thinking of pushing because the head was there already but I wasn't fully dilated yet. She said I was doing a great job at breathing and told me to continue doing it although I felt like I was doing a terrible job this time round at holding back. All I wanted to do was PUSH!
9:27pm In less than two minutes after being told that I was not fully dilated, one of the nurses came and felt the baby's head and said "She's coming already." She? Was it baby or me or did I just hear wrongly? Anyway, I knew it too because regardless of how the nurses tried to shift my legs - I initially bent my legs at the knees but the nurses pulled them down and closed them in order to stop me from pushing - it seemed like my baby was determined to come right there and then. Half of me was trying to push the head out yet the other half was trying to hold it back and it was a tug of war that I jolly well knew which side was going to win. And boy, that was definitely the toughest part of the delivery, considering that the contractions were at the peak too.
9:29pm I heard those magic words "Doctor is here already." Oh gosh, you have no idea how much of a relief that was and how seeing her made me feel at ease instantly, like I knew that I was in good hands from now on. It was exactly the same as Asher's birth where I delivered much earlier than expected and she managed to arrive just in the nick of time for the pushing.

9:30pm And you know what? In less than a minute of my gynae's arrival, the baby's head came out because I had absolutely no way of holding it back anymore so I decided to just let it do what it wants to do, haha. By this time, the contraction had died down, I could feel it. I was prepared to wait for the next one so I could push out his body but the doctor and nurses said I had to push immediately there and then, once the head came out. So I used my hands to sit myself up a little, gave a loud 'Uuuhhhhhhh' as I summoned all my strength and boy did I push! Arrgghhhhhhh! Whhooosh! Phhhheeeww! Thankful, with just that one more push, the whole baby came out like a big ball of , head, body and all. Yup, my baby is here!

9:33pm It was a huge relief for me as I lay back on the bed. Nothing else mattered much after that, so long as I saw that my baby was safe. I pushed out the placenta, let my doctor stitch me up and do everything she had to do - nothing feels painful after all the contractions and pushing. I lay there just gazing into my baby's eyes, feeling thankful for the whole experience even though we cut it really close this time round and everything happened in a fast and furious way. Even my gynae, who has decades of experience under her belt, was very much surprised at how short a time it took for the baby to be out and said "He must be very eager to see the world." Indeed, he is, and he may be small but he is perfect just the way he was born.

9:50pm The baby and I cuddled for some time when I was being stitched up and I whispered to tell him how much he is loved. Being a preemie, the doctor had cut the umblilical cord for him instead of letting the hubby do it and once the baby was out, they rushed to get the mucus out and to make sure he was safe and breathing. He was also taken to the special care unit in the NICU for most of the night, other than when it was time to breastfeed, and for the first time, my newborn baby did not room in with me through the first night. Of course, we understood the reasons behind all this and all we hope for from now is for him to grow up healthily and happily. I was so relieved and glad when he passed most of the culture and blood tests because it meant that he was able to spend the remaining days and nights in the ward with me. Yay!

So, this was how baby Ansel came into this world and while it took all of us by surprise, I am thankful for every moment of this amazing experience and it's something that makes me stronger and cherish being a mum deeper than before. Right now, I'm just so excited and happy to have a newborn to hold, to love and to kiss a thousand times a day once again.
Thank you for reading and sharing all our birth stories!

For Angel's birth story, go here. For Ariel's birth story, go here. For Asher's birth story, go here.

1 comment:

  1. Send shivers down my spine as it reminded me so much about my fast and furious delivery of 2 and 3 without epidural! I can totally relate and yes the husbands will never fully understand what it is like!


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