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Aidan: A birth story, part 2

Read Part 1 here

Sunday, March 4
While making coffee at about 1045am, I suddenly felt a light gush of fluid flowing down and I stopped, thinking that I was still bleeding from the VE. Cursing and swearing, I headed to the loo to change my panty liner, only to find myself staring at a wet liner that was free from blood.

Eh?

I sat down on the bowl to pee and to think, and I realized that I was “peeing” fluid from my vagina too. Uh oh.

I was leaking amniotic fluid.

Shoot. This wasn’t how it’s supposed to happen!

Since the plan was to labour at home (and be as far away from the hospital as possible), we decided to get on with our day and see if the leaking continued. Mr Thick vacuumed the house down, we went to the in-laws’ for lunch, headed to school to sort out my work and then proceeded to my mother’s place to have tea with her. By the time we reached home, it was almost 4pm.

And yet, my surges were still irregular and I was leaking amniotic fluid intermittently. My little man was active and moving quite a bit, making me wonder why he wasn’t as engaged as he should be. I tried to get the surges going by changing my labouring positions but nothing worked.

At 5pm, I texted Dr Y, who asked us to go into the hospital at 7pm. We bargained and got it moved to 10 pm, since I was trying to steer clear of any active management of my labour. In the meantime, we had dinner and I even washed and blew dry my hair. The surges were still sporadic and lacked intensity.

Finally at 915pm, we reluctantly left our house and drove towards the hospital. In my heart, I knew that something was wrong and I might not get the birth that I had wanted so badly.

To be continued…

Aidan: A birth story, part 1

My birth plan was simple: to avoid all interventions unless absolutely necessary; to be allowed to labour and deliver naturally; and to only have a Caesarean as my very last resort.

Since Murphy is my best friend, of course nothing would go the way I planned. Here is Aidan’s birth story.

Friday, March 2
We had our 37th week ultrasound at Dr Y’s clinic and the nugget was happily in the right position for birth, with the cord nowhere near his neck. During that visit, I mentioned the lower posterior pain that had crept up over the past few days. He suggested doing a vaginal exam to see if the discomfort was caused by my cervix opening up and I agreed.

URGHS.

VEs are STUPID. MEDIEVAL. BAD. Surely with technology, you would think that there is an easier way of measuring dilation. During the exam, Dr Y asked if I was certain I didn’t want an epidural during labour because this was how VEs would feel like and I swear I could have killed him then and there. The VE also caused me to spot quite heavily for the rest of the day.

Anyway, it turned out that I was about 1cm dilated and my cervix was indeed soft and ready for birth. Dr Y predicted that I would definitely be delivering within the next two weeks and won’t hit 40 weeks. Oops! But then again, the number had no impact on me because you can be 5cm dilated and still not have the baby for yonks.

Saturday, March 3
I woke up bright and early (for a Saturday, that is) and decided that it was time to tie up any loose ends we had for the bubs. First, we had to settle the cot problem because our kid’s bed had still not been delivered.

To cut a long story short, we popped over to the shop in Ubi to demand an explanation and was told that we could have the cot that we had ordered BUT the latex mattress would be delayed. The lady boss assured us that she would “loan” us a new foam mattress should the nugget pop out before the mattress arrived. Mmmkay.

Next stop was back to the Mothercare annual sale at Harbourfront because I hadn’t gotten a discount that I should have received on a product. We dove into the madness, got our money back and picked up a fabric book that I had been searching high and low for, for the longest time. Yay!

Feeling accomplished, we headed back home where I proceeded to put together the nugget’s room, folded and sorted out his clothes and yelled at the cats for jumping into his clothes hamper.

All this while, I continued spotting, and I blamed it on the VE. Bloody hell.

To be continued…

Hello, Aidan

World, meet Aidan.

Aidan couldn’t wait to exit my womb and popped out to say hello on Monday, March 5, at 4am.

He’s a teeny tiny 2.5kg at 37 weeks + 3 days, and we are thrilled that he is here with us, safe and sound.
Both mama and baby are fine.

I’m still recovering from the unexpected birth and I can’t wait to share his birth story with you.

In the meantime, we are basking in the sweetness of our baby and trying to stay awake.

Under pressure

Dear Tiny Human,

A couple of nights ago, your dad had his hand on my tummy and whispered something to you that made me want to cry.

You’re the only bright spark in my life that I am looking forward to.

He’s having a tough time, your dad, and it’s hard because I don’t know what I can do to help. But I know that we will get through this together, just as we always do.

But his words sparked off something in me. It made me realise just how much your arrival is being anticipated by people.

Both your dad and I have been wishing and hoping for your arrival for more than two years.

Your grandma has been praying for a grandchild for the past 10 years, so much so that she made it a point to announce loudly to every household that we visited over the Lunar New Year: “My little Dragon will be here next year, all of you had better prepare your red packets for him.”

Your grandpa just went through a tough surgery and your birth will undoubtedly bring him some cheer.

It scares me.
It does.

The pressure that’s on your little unborn shoulders is simply too much. You are just one child.

I should be happy that the family is rallying behind your arrival but sometimes, I want to protect you from the burden of being the only baby in the family. Everybody has expectations of you and I do hate it so sometimes. Also, I want to raise you to be a good, filial, kind, happy, independent child, not someone who is spoilt silly and constantly cooed over. I want to be the sort of mother who will let you find your own way and fall down, but I will be there to dust your knees and help you up, should you need me to. I don’t want anyone to be hovering around you 24/7, turning you into a timid, pampered little brat.

I don’t know how things will be like when you are born but I am hopeful that we will be able to strike a good balance. We will have the first four months of your birth to hit our stride and find our style. And then it’s a matter of communicating how we would like you to be brought up to your caregivers.

In the meantime, I am enjoying having you all by myself in my belly. I know that it’s a bit of a squeeze right now but hang in there, you will be exiting your watery home in no time. And then it’s going to be such a strange world that you will be experiencing! No food to be given to you intravenously; instead, a boob will be shoved into your face and you will need to learn to suckle for your survival. The temperature in your environment will not be regulated, your naked bits will be covered up by things called clothes and there will be lots and lots of people making funny faces at you and expecting you to respond.

It’s a whole new world, baby!

And your dad and I are looking forward to exploring it with you.

Love,
Your Mama

My pregnancy must-haves

I have loved every moment of being pregnant. Even as my body is being stretched to its limits and causing me some grief, I have enjoyed this journey of ours.

That said, it IS amazing how incubating a little person can change your body profoundly. At 36 weeks, I am finally feeling the impact of how uncomfortable pregnancy can get. And sometimes, pregnancy can make you feel downright unglamorous and unpretty. The following list contains a few things that have made me feel better about looking like a beached whale.

1. Clarins Huile “Tonic” Body Treatment Oil
I know, stretch marks are mostly genetic and no amount of oiling will prevent that if you have the genes. And I DO have the unfortunate genes. I mean, my poor ass is full of white lines from adolescence. I started using this once I was past my first trimester and my tummy is free from marks. It was a gift from my Cousin Wan and since it’s so pricey, I alternate it with the cheaper Boots Expert Stretch Mark Oil that I had bought in Thailand.

2. Burt’s Bees Rich and Repairing Cocoa Butter & Macadamia Nut Oil Body Butter
The hormones really threw my body out of whack and turned it into the human equivalent of the Sahara Desert. The body butter has helped to protect my arms and legs from the blasting dry air of the air-conditioner at night without that oily, sticky feeling. Plus, it’s made from plant-based ingredients!

3. Motherlove Birth & Body Oil
Every night, husband rubs a little of this onto my calves before kneading the tightness away. It’s organic and smells very faintly of lavender, which I adore. Once the little man is out, this can be used on him as a massage oil and is said to be excellent for treating cradle cap. I got mine from iherb, together with the organic bath products for the nugget, and if you order using this discount code OTI683, you’ll get 5 percent off your first purchase.

4. Muji Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser + essential oils
We bought this during our Tokyo trip back in 2009 and it’s been a godsend so far! The integrated LED light is dim and perfect for winding down the day, and I like to drift off to sleep pretending that I am in a luxurious spa. Some of the essential oils that are in rotation include Royal Doulton’s Sleep Easy blend, lavender, bergamot, The Body Shop’s Divine Calm blend and the Sensual Aromatic Blend from Thann. It’s now available in Singapore.

5. Birkenstocks Madrid sandals
Now that I am waddling into my last month of pregnancy, I find that nothing but Birkenstocks will do for my lower body. It’s so tiring carrying this little tenant of mine everywhere! My legs ache, my hips ache and my back ache. I practically live in my Birkenstocks these days and I should have bought them much, much earlier. I got these in patent purple – my favourite colour!

I hope this list will help some of you during your last stage of pregnancy in some way. And if you have any pregnancy lifesavers, please share! I’d love to know what they are (and maybe they can help me ignore that pain in my hips).

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