Welcome to our world, baby Ethan!
Sharon Goh shares her labour story with theAsianparent.com
Months before the arrival of our bundle of joy, The Husband and I went for prep class after prep class during which the benefits of a natural delivery (sans all pain relief) were sung to us like how Barney would sing the “I Love You” song. To further equip myself, I had also watched (in horror) videos of natural deliveries posted on YouTube of how bloodied babies would come ‘flying’ out of their moms’ cervixes. As it turned out, I really needn’t have worried.
2 weeks before my EDD, Little (and I emphasize on this word) Ethan had stopped growing in my womb. And on the morning of 26th October 2009, my kindly gynecologist, Dr. Ravi, suggested a C-sec to bring him into our world.
I remember walking into the hospital ward dazed, my mind a blank. I felt totally unprepared for all that was to come, even though I had literally spent the past 9 months mentally, physically and emotionally preparing for Baby Ethan’s arrival.
A chirpy nurse came in to make sure all was in order and I changed into the green shapeless hospital operation gown and was shaven down under.
At 130pm, The Husband and his trusty Nikon then followed as I was pushed out of the ward towards the Operation Theatre. I remember counting the lights on the ceiling as I rolled by, trying to distract myself from the fact that I was soon to be put under the knife.
Outside the OP Theatre, I was approached by a friendly anesthetist who gently warned me of the “pinch” I would feel as he jabbed me with the needle in my lower back. I tried hard not to flinch when I saw the length of the needle but soon the ordeal was over and after a few minutes, I could no longer feel the lower half of my body. How weird!
Within minutes, I was in the OP Theatre. All the nurses were chatting excitedly and busied around me, getting ready for yet another birth. I stared silently at the clinical and sterile theatre with its cold, white walls. Trying to distract myself, I glanced at all the beeping machines and instruments around me. The blade of the scalpel sparkled under the bright lights. I promptly shut my eyes.
Soon they erected an opaque blue sheet at my chest area that would censor the operation from my inquisitive eyes. The Husband was then allowed into the theatre but not before he had been thoroughly scrubbed down and had donned a surgical gown.
Dear Dr. Ravi arrived at that moment and he put me at ease immediately with his warm and caring voice and his sympathetic eyes. The Husband took up post by my side, softly whispering prayers, joking with me and encouraging me whilst watching his dearest wife being sliced open. (My husband has a strong heart.)
Soon, the shudders (after-effects of the anesthetic) set in. I recall shaking like a drug addict suffering from withdrawal symptoms and the temperature in the OP theatre seemed to have dipped. The Husband held my hand throughout the ordeal, trying to calm me down. My heart was pounding in my ears and I whispered a silent prayer that Baby Ethan would be alright. Dr. Ravi popped his head over from time to time and I bravely reassured him that I was ‘OK’ even though I felt far from it.
Then, after a sudden and short warning, Dr. Ravi pushed my tummy down in a bid to ‘extract’ Ethan from my womb. There was this slight tug in my belly and then a quick jerk by Dr. Ravi’s swift hands and then IT happened.
At 1.49pm, standing up in anticipation, The Husband witnessed this very special moment and shed a lone tear when a little purplish and wrinkled Ethan emerged. Ear-piercing screams filled the air and I promptly reconciled with the fact that such screams would very much be a part of my life for at least the next year or so.
Without delay, Ethan was handed over to his PD, a bow-tied Dr Lim who was standing by. The Little One was cleaned, examined and weighed. The Husband left my side to observe the whole process but was so stunned that he promptly forgot to take any pictures! Dr Lim declared happily a while later that though feather-weight at 2.49kg, Ethan was born healthy and well and was even clever enough to soothe himself by putting his thumb into his mouth on his own! Thank God!
Wrapped in a little soft blue blanket, Ethan was then placed gently on my chest for me to ogle at for what felt like barely a minute. I stared at him (whilst still shuddering violently) in amazement – Did this little puffy purple creature just pop out of my womb? Was this baby just a kidney bean in size a few months ago? Was this alien-looking thing a Mini Me? How surreal!
I watched helplessly as the nurses then whisked my baby away to the nursery whilst I got stitched and cleaned up and rolled into a waiting room to recuperate (and shudder some more ) before being reunited with The Husband and Baby Ethan.
The whole process took approximately only an hour but it was certainly the most life-altering experience ever!