Saturday, 27 November 2010 – Two days after Hon’s (hubby’s) birthday. Hon and I were out on a date in town, just after my checkup at Gleneagles in the morning. Dr Yam said I was 1/2 cm dilated when he checked. Ok, no biggie, I thought. Still a long way to go. I told Dr Yam about how my stomach felt rock hard at times. He scheduled to meet me in 3 days, saying what I was feeling could be contractions.
After the check-up, Hon and I walked to Orchard Road with the plan of catching a movie and shopping. Our first stop was Tanglin Mall, which is quite near Gleneagles. We decided to have lunch first. While walking, I felt my stomach tense up again. I continued walking, albeit slowly. During lunch, I felt an intense pain in my tummy, the same kind of pain I get during my menses. I went to the toilet thinking it could be constipation so I sat it out. But the pain was still there. After an unbearable half an hour in the toilet, I went back to the restaurant. Hon had already finished eating. I ate a bit more and told him that we may have to take a rain check on our date. I called my cousin and asked her what contractions felt like. She advised me to time the intervals of the bouts of pain, but what I felt was pain all the time! She dismissed it as stomach discomfort. I thought it may just be nerves I was feeling. I told Hon that I wanted to go home and rest. So we flagged a cab and headed home.
5pm: Once home, I laid on my bed, too agonized by the pain to sleep. Hon advised me to call my doctor again. His nurse advised me to get myself warded right away. Luckily everything was ready. I had no time to take a shower. In the cab, a list of things was running through my mind- all the ‘what ifs’. Then, we got stuck in a traffic jam. I told myself I could hold on.
7pm: After what seemed like eternity, we arrived at the hospital. We were directed to the maternity ward immediately. The nurse took one look at me and said, “Please change into the hospital gown and take a urine sample.” I was taken aback, thinking this was just a check-up. I didn’t expect to stay there. So this was it. I was placed in the observation ward with two other beds. Hon went to register while the nurse hooked me up to a machine to time my contractions…they were one to two minutes apart! The nurses tole me I was about only 1 cm dilated. My waterbag had not even burst yet. I asked for the laughing gas to lessen my pain. The nurse asked if I wanted the epidural- I decided to keep that on hold. I managed to rest for a while. I could hear babies’ cries, womens’ cries. This was all happening so fast.
1.40am on Sunday, 28 November 2010
I threw up due to the side effect of the laughing gas. And because of the strain, my waterbag burst. I thought I had passed urine. It felt squirmy and warm. I was only 2 cm dilated then. Hon was beside me all along, but he was so tired i told him to get some rest downstairs.
4.20am: I asked for the epidural. The anaesthetist administered it and I felt relief real quick. The lower half of my body felt so numb, and no pain could be felt. This was god-sent, really. I managed to sleep, tweet, and joke with Hon. I told him to head home for a quick wash up, now that I was feeling better.
7.10am: I am being wheeled into the delivery ward. There’s a sofa bed and a television. There’s a single bed there. I relaxed and watched tv for a bit. I was really hungry by this time and my energy was drained out due to the contractions. The nurse was kind enough to call my gynae to ask if she could serve me breakfast. Under Dr Yam’s instructions, I was fed a sandwich and a cup of milo. Hon came back and snoozed on the sofa bed beside me.
12pm: Still 2 cm dilated. I think they injected Oxytocin in me to induce my labour- I was clueless as my focus was on getting rest. It had been a laborious night! My contractions had gone down from 1 minute to being 5 minutes apart now.
230pm: I awoke feeling refreshed after really good sleep. The nurse came in and checked and I was 9.5cm dilated! Just in those two hours! She asked me if I was ready to push- oh yes!
3pm: The nurse prepared the doctor’s kit and Dr Yam came in at 3.30pm to check on me. Before that, the nurse and Hon were preparing me to push. I had to do sit ups- chin to the chest, and when the contraction came, I pushed with all my might. One hour passed- I did 10 sets of 10 sit ups.
4pm: Dr Yam decided it’s time for a vacuum delivery since it has been an hour and Aaliyah’s head was showing already but she still wasn’t out. It felt like I had run a 10km race. Dr Yam took the vacuum equipment and in one minute, Aaliyah slipped out! I heard her loud cries. It was the most magnificent moment in my life. Dr said her lungs were strong. She was placed on top of me right away, while her daddy stood beside me. Hon and I both cried- the feeling was too overwhelming. Finally, after nine long months of pregnancy, our little angel had arrived. The nurse whisked her away to clean her up and get her measured, while Dr. Yam stitched me up. I didn’t feel any pain during the stitching as my mind and thoughts were on my newborn baby girl. It helped that the epidural had not worn off yet.
5pm: I was wheeled into the room with Aaliyah and hubby. I tried to breastfeed her there and then to bond, connect and communicate between mother and daughter. She opened her innocent little eyes and looked at me. She was a miracle. Aaliyah was born one day short of 37 weeks. She may be considered a one-day preemie, but to me, she’s the strongest girl. I couldn’t sleep although I had in labour for close to 20 hours. My parents and mother in law came to visit. In the evening, more relatives spilled in.
10pm: When our visitors went home, Hon went home too and I rested. The nurse brought Aaliyah in from the nursery so that I could breastfeed her every three hours.
Monday, 29 November 10
11am: I was discharged from the hospital. Aaliyah stayed on to be under further observation. She was discharged from the nursery at 8pm. Bringing home baby Aaliyah for the first time was bliss. She slept in her crib- Hon had gone home earlier to prepare everything in the room for her. Our home was baby-ready. Now, we began our lives with a new addition.
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