The Day Alexis Tumbled Out Of Me

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hello! It has been two weeks since Alexis is born. Confinement is okay, it can be boring sometimes because I'm cooped up at home 24/7, apart from going out for check-ups. But other than that, life with a newborn is less than easy!

I'm back to the waking up every 2 to 3 hours at night, feeding Alexis when she is hungry. And then she will poop every few hours, which I will then need to change her diapers in the middle of the night, messy hair and half-opened eyes.

I really forgot how often an infant can poop. And those bright, chrome yellow grainy poop!

Nian has been really sweet, he cleared all his leave to spend the month with us, taking over the role of my confinement nanny and more. He bathes Alexis and Dylan daily, cooks rice, runs errands, changes diapers, streams movies and Running Man for me to watch, massages me, buys groceries and junk food home...

It would have been very difficult without him at home helping me. This, I'm very, very thankful. Thank you for being so hands-on and helpful!

Unlike Dylan, giving birth to Alexis is really a much, much shorter labour time. As compared to the previous 40 hours that I went through previously, Alexis only took 7 hours from contractions to birth. Of course, even though it is much shorter than my first time, it is memorable nevertheless.

11 August 2014

10AM: Went for my tuition class. My student asked me when I was gonna pop and I told her I didn't know. "Maybe today?" I joked. Class ended at 12PM and I had my usual gynae appointment at 1PM.

12PM: Bought bubble tea and seaweed chicken to fill my stomach before the appointment. I was planning to have lunch with Nian after the check-up.

12.30PM: Sat in the gynae's office, waiting for my turn. I was taking Q number 26 when number 18 was in the room. Suddenly, she (a PRC) ran out to the counter, exclaiming in an heavily accented Mandarin, "我要生了!我要生了!" (I'm gonna give birth! I'm gonna give birth!)

The admin had to rush out an admission letter for her and before I knew it, ZOOM. She left. I was like.... whoa. So I took out my phone and updated my status on Facebook:

1PM: My turn to see the gynae. It was a routine check-up, I'd need to lie down on the examination bed and wait for yet another blurry, ugly ultrasound scan, but this time, it was slightly different.

"The baby's head is very low," my gynae said.
"Uh.. ok. Does that mean I will be giving birth soon?"
"Let me check you physically again," he said.
Checking me physically basically means sticking two fingers up to check the cervix dilation. I hate this physical examination the most because it can be VERY painful sometimes.

I was 2cm dilated then.

"Ok, Jac. I want you to go home and pick up your hospital bag. See you in the hospital at about 3pm."
"Uh, doesn't it mean that I can't have lunch, since it is already 1pm? :( Can I go in a bit later or not?"
"I will be in the hospital at about 4PM, trust me, by then you will be in a lot of pain."
"Okay... see you later then."

Actually in my head I was thinking, "Really or not. The last time he said I was going to give birth, I didn't give birth until 40 hours later leh. Later go in so early chalk up the room bills again tsk."

1.30PM: Nian and I decided to take a train home (as you can see, we were not even kancheong at all wtf, still dilly dally taking our own sweet time) when half way through, my right hamstring was extremely painful. Kinda like cramps, you know? It came in waves, just like how a contraction would. I couldn't walk properly but when seated, I couldn't feel any pain.

I didn't think much about that weird pain on my leg and went home to shower and headed downstairs for a good hair wash + massage.

2.30PM: Skipped queue to have my hair washed because I told the auntie I am in labour and I wanted to have clean hair before I start my confinement. Auntie was damn kancheong and proceeded to wash and massage me as quickly as she can.

3.30PM: Took a cab to my parents' place because my dad told us to use his car LOL.

4PM: Reached Thomson Medical Center and proceeded to admit myself into the delivery ward. Still feeling the pain at my hamstring, but nothing much in the stomach. Alexis was still kicking once in a while.

Post note: The pain at the hamstring was actually indeed contraction pain. My gynae explained that it is known as "referred pain", which means that the pain somehow... got diverted to other parts of the body.

4.30PM: Finally admitted into the delivery ward. A very cheerful Sister greeted me and told me that there were two delivery suites available - Room 7 and Room 8 and asked me which room I preferred.

"Wa, so good, I can choose ah?" I thought.

So I chose Room 8 - huat ma, right? Got into the room, changed into the delivery gown, gave urine samples and laid down on the bed. Nian came in shortly with Delifrance because we haven't had lunch yet but the nurse said that I shouldn't be eating anymore because the food will not get digested when I am in labour, and that I may vomit during the delivery.

Alamak. So I negotiated and they allowed me to drink my Lobster Bisque and two slices of toast.

5PM: My gynae came by! Always happy to see him because by then the contractions have increased in force and coming at about 2 to 3 minutes intervals. Checked my dilation and GEEZ. 2cm STILL. I did a rough mental calculation - 1cm per hour (what they usually say), that will take me another 8 hours. WTF it's gonna be 1AM by the time I am ready to deliver! Maybe Nian should go fetch Dylan from the toddler care and send him over to my mother-in-law's. So very quickly, Nian left. I continued to bear with the contractions as I watched Rise of The Guardians on TV.

Thank God for a TV in the delivery suite.

6.30PM: Nian came back with mother-in-law and Dylan in tow. They were waiting at the family room while I am having the mother of all contractions. I insisted the nurse to check my dilation because I wanted to make a decision of whether to use an epidural or not.

Nurse checked. 3cm only just kill me nao.

By then, I was already using laughing gas as my first pain relief but trust me, laughing gas sucks. It doesn't relief any pain at all - used it while giving birth to Dylan, used it again while delivering Alexis, both didn't work. Nurse then asked if I'd like to have Pethidine as my next form of pain relief.

"Can reduce 50% of the pain," she said.

"OK. 50% also good. GIVE IT TO ME." I demanded. I also requested to be induced. "I also want oxytocin." I told my gynae. Nurse got ready and put me on drips while I just kept praying for dilation to happen quickly. My contractions were good and strong, so if I can dilate, Alexis will be out in no time.

7.30PM: Everything was a bit of a blur during this period because the pain was so painful, I ended up moaning.

Can you believe it????? Every time I hear a woman screaming next door, it scares the shit out of me but here I am, moaning in pain.

I couldn't even stand my own moans but I don't think I could have survived the pain otherwise. Nian was just beside me, holding my hands while I attempted to bite him. (sorry baby!)

He pulled his hand away (lol) and I tried to bite myself instead. You know, anything. ANYTHING to distract you from that damn contractions. I couldn't take the pain any longer and I requested for an epidural at this moment.

The nurse was still strolling around leisurely, asking me in a sing-song voice, "Oh, you want epidural ah? Okay... I will prepare~~~"

THEN SUDDENLY, out of nowhere, I felt it. The urge to push.
"OMG she's coming! She's coming out!"
I exclaimed to Nian.

"Wait ah, don't push first!" The nurse said in a rather urgent tone, but her pace towards me didn't increase one bit lol. I guess they've seen too much of over-reacting mothers screaming that their babies are coming out.

"I cannot wait! She is coming out! She's sliding out oh my god!" At that moment, the nurse pushed her hand into me and blocked Alexis' head from coming out. While I felt the rest of my amniotic fluid rushed out like waterfall, Alexis didn't slide out as expected.

"Don't worry ya? I help you to stop the baby. You control your breathing... yes, yes, breathe slowly. You need to wait for the doctor to cut you first, otherwise you will tear your perineum!" The nurse warned. And when they checked, shit. There was a small tear already. That was when I freaked out because I remembered an ex-colleague telling me that she tore her perineum muscles in her first labour and it took very long for her to recover. Noooooooo I don't want that!

"CAN YOU PLEASE GET THE DOCTOR?!??!" I yelled as the next wave of contraction came again.

Just then, my gynae came in like a white knight and sat down right in front of me. At the same moment, another nurse came in and they opened up the delivery bed with the legs-propping thingy and pulled my legs up.

Best visual I can get online lol
"Ok Jac, I can see the baby's head. When the next contraction comes, you just push. Ok?" my gynae said.

No problem man, it is already so difficult to keep her inside. For those who have not gone through labours like that, just imagine you really need to go to the toilet for big business... and the queue is very long and you have to hold your shit in. That's about how I feel, except that the stomach pain is PAIN X INFINITY. Yup.

Back to the story, while waiting for my next wave of contractions to come, Nian was looking at the machine behind me and I could see him spreading his legs slightly, getting ready to grab my hand as I felt the contractions coming right up again.

"Hold your breath and PUSH!" my gynae prompted.

So I closed my eyes, held my breath and pushed with ALL my might. Because Alexis was so tiny, she was out in one single push. I always think that I have a very effective pushing method because Dylan only took 3 pushes while Alexis only one LOL.

The amazing thing about childbirth is that as soon as the baby is out, the mother of all pains will disappear immediately. Like suddenly, you're no longer in pain anymore and that everything on Earth has fallen back into place and life is peaceful again.

For this pregnancy, I realised that I am more alert about my surroundings. Even in pain, I could tell what was going on exactly. When did the doctor performed episiotomy on me, when did the doctor come in, what was being said... And when Alexis is delivered, I could see her clearly this time.

I thought it is probably because I am being propped higher this time round, somewhat in a sitting position so I could see more things. I could even lean over to check the floor to see if I had lost a lot of blood wtf.

As soon as Alexis is born, the gynae immediately asked Nian to look at the time and then go over to verify the gender while they sucked out the mucus in her nose and mouth and cleaned her up briefly. At that moment, I can also feel my gynae delivering my placenta and then giving me a local anaesthesia and stitching me up.

Perhaps the lack of epidural makes the pain more real, because I used to tell my friends that I was so shagged out (or drugged out?) after giving birth, I don't feel a single bit of pain during the stitching.

This time, I could feel the injection (the anaesthesia) and EVERY SINGLE suture that poked through my tender skin.

After I was all taken care of, Nian left the delivery suite to bring Dylan down to meet Alexis and I. I am very thankful to the nurses because by right, only the husband is allowed in the suite but I kinda begged her to spare 5 minutes to let Dylan come in because all I wanted to do then was to hug all three of them.

Dylan saw his meimei, whom he greeted enthusiastically. It really made my night to see him because ever since we sent him to school in the morning, I haven't got around to see him at all until the late evening. He gave me a hug and he went home with Nian and my mother-in-law. I was then transferred to another bed and wheeled back to my ward to rest.

So there, that is the day when I officially became a mother of two. Life is more hectic, busier, more laundry to wash and fold, but the fun and love is also multiplied by the addition of this little baby.

I hope I can take some time out to review Natal Essentials, the confinement tingkat that I've been having for the past weeks and also my massage lady, Cik Sabariah. But right now, I need to go back to rest and also be a cow again. :)

See you gals soon!

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  1. Hi Jac, congratulations for the birth of baby Alexis! Same like you, I also didn't manage to get any epidural as planned for the 2nd baby delivery, but hey, we made it!


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