I have popped and this is how it went down.

Some of you might know, that I have given birth to our baby boy. His due date was supposed to be 22 September, but he decided to pop out at 32 week 3 day gestation, just before the month of July ended. In a nutshell, that’s too many weeks too early.

On 30 July 2014, my water broke at 5.30pm. I had the classic scene – a gush of water and some blood splashing onto my feet, just like in the movies. Thank goodness my husband was at home so he sent me straight to the hospital where I was immediately admitted to the delivery suite.

I was 1cm dilated by then, but I was feeling pretty normal physically. I was bleeding too but I wasn’t in pain. The husband and I hung out in the room chatting and surfing the Internet. Even got hubs to get me Mcdonalds for supper. After supper, I basically watched movies till wee hours in the morning.

Truth was, we were both effing scared and were just trying to keep the topic of delivering a baby off each other’s mind.

And then, it began.

And I am not shitting you, my contractions began right after I finished watching “What to Expect when You’re Expecting” on Fox channel. They started out like really painful menstrual cramps and got more painful as hours passed. I mean, I had semi-passed out from menstrual cramps before, but these, these were a whole new world of pain.

By 9am on 31 July 2014, I was about 3cm and my midwife told me if I wanted any pain relief or epidural this would be the time. I said no and regretted almost immediately after.

By the time I was 6cm dilated at around 11am, I was wailing like a banshee in a bathtub filled with holy water and begging for epidural. “JUST GIVE IT TO ME!!!!!!”

Alas, it was too late for an epidural. My only option was to go through with it, there’s no turning back. My only respite was the laughing gas (I think?) that I sucked, and sucked and sucked and sucked. Why call it laughing gas when I wasn’t laughing, gawddamnit!

# – Nobody could pry that gas away from me.

I remember at some point, the doctor calling out that I was 10cm dilated and I was prepped and then asked to push like I was pushing poop out whenever a contraction kicked in.

I also remember screaming about wanting to vomit, and someone shoving a kidney dish next to my face but thankfully I didn’t hurl.

Baby was out after 5 pushes according to the husband. I shall spare you the details of the birth. Anyway, he came into this world at 1.52pm on 31 July 2014. My contractions started at 5.30am and he came out at about 2pm, making the labour process a reasonable 8 hours plus.

And despite the holy mother trucking pain, I still think I had a very good labour; the only bleep being that it happened way too soon. My doctor was excellent, calm and clear with her instructions (so I managed to give birth without attending any antenatal class haha). My midwives were kind, understanding and supportive.

Props to the hubs especially, he was my rock during the labour. I can honestly say I don’t think I could do it trauma-free if he weren’t present. He also took pictures of everything, and I mean, everything, should I’m ever inclined to relive the experience.

When my doctor pulled him out and plopped him onto my chest, my first feeling at seeing him for the first time was relief.

Relieved that he’s out, and relieved that he’s not as small as I had imagined he would be. Still a meagre 1.9kg but in all considerations, pretty healthy for a premature baby his age.

# – Baby’s paediatrician working on him right after I birthed him.

Am glad my doc gave me the steroid jabs to strengthen his lungs when my mucus plug fell out 20 days prior.

To date, our baby has been in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the past 11 days. And, he’s doing exceedingly well.

# – Our very first family portrait – about 8 hours after his birth.

Sure, he’s lost about 200 grams of water weight but he’s slowly climbing up to 1.8kg. He’s off CPAP by 3rd day and by the 4th day he was well enough to undergo kangaroo care (skin to skin therapy or as we call it – huggies time) with us. We visit him twice everyday for kangaroo care.

# – 1 day old, with daddy. Seeing pictures of him with wires and that thingy on his nose still gives me the emo.

# – 5 day old. He’s progressed so quickly and looking so good :)

# – 6 day old. What a poser!! He’s developed mild jaundice by now, can see a little yellow on his face.

I’ve been pumping milk around the clock because mother’s milk is really important to a premature baby. It’s quite magical that a woman’s body is able to customise milk to suit exactly what her baby needs. His jaundice has subsided and he’s up to 36mls per feed without vomitting (that’s like full term baby portion!).

# – Nomming his little piggies. He’s 8 days old here.

His doctor also has allowed me to breastfeed him directly, and he sucks like a champion. His sucking sounds are so loud, it’s embarrassing!

# – 9 day old. Hypnotising us with his eyes when we’re about to leave NICU. He does that everytime! We put him back on his bed and he would open his eyes and stare at us like that.

Yesterday doc even said that if all goes well, he should be moving to a normal nursery soon. I was so happy, I almost cried.

I have many goals in life, many involving a dozen slightly different versions of me hanging out by a body of water in very little clothings, but I can say with certainty now that my real current goal in life is really to fatten my baby up with my boob food. I am so pumped!!!!

p/s: All those giving birth scenes in movies…LIES. ALL LIES. How about multiplying the intensity by about a million, then we’re talking!

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Happy 30th Birthday to Me!

Yeah now you know how old I am!

I can’t believe that I graduated from university almost 10 years ago!

I sometimes find it hard to believe that I am pregnant now. Or married. Or has my own health insurance. Or has my own car? Whutttttttt?

I remember driving my first car at 18, a white Kancil gifted by my father, pushing it to 120kmh (which is the max speed) thinking to myself, “Walaoyeh, I am so fast and so cool lehhhh!!!!”.

Thinking back, I have had a pretty good twenties. I mean, obviously I didn’t think so then, there was always something irking me cause c’mon….which 20+ year old doesn’t think it’s all about Me, Me, Me, Me and Me and EVERYONE is just so gawddamn clueless? Hehe.

Well, I spent the first half of my twenties thinking I had figured it all out and the later half actually figuring it out, albeit frustratingly.

My twenties have left me and they were glorious, fun & sometimes frustrating years.

Today I feel at peace. I would like to start my 30s knowing that I will always be figuring it out, but to never ever sweat it :)

For my 30th, I don’t have any material wish, unlike all my previous birthdays in my twenties.

# – Though it’s still fun receiving them hehehe. This is me opening presents from Celine last night.

I am thankful for a loving & supportive husband, a caring family, the best dog in the world and wonderful, wonderful friends. I am soon to launch a small business, which I’m really excited about. Have so far done all the product research, designing of the brand etc…all that’s left is to market and who should be my inspiration but my yet-to-be born son?

So yeah, I am excited about being in my 30s!

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The show.

11 July 2014. 29 weeks 4 days. Getting there…about 10 drama-free weeks to go. How hard can it be?

A little hard according to my scumbag vagina/cervix. After 2 episodes of spottings in the past 7 months, I reckoned the worst was over but last night when I wiped after peeing, something that looked suspiciously like a pregnancy mucus plug landed on the tissue.

(Mucus plug keeps bacteria from entering the womb, and normally dislodges nearer to the labour date.)

You win lah, vagina.

Good timing though cause coincidentally it’s my routine checkup at the hospital the morning after, so we opted not to go to ER.

Anyway, next morning, doc took a look at the photo of the alleged mucus plug and promptly gave me a thorough examination.

Baby looked fine on the ultrasound, no dilation, but my cervix was a bit softer (a sign of body preparing for labour) than she liked. So she sent me for something called CTG (I think?), to monitor baby’s heartrate and my contractions.

That graph came out fairly normal too but because of the “mucus plug incident” she liked to err on the side of cautious and has banned me from all kinds of streneous activities including my daily walks. In essence, am kind of on bed rest.

Since I live near the hospital, doc said there’s no need for drugs to keep baby in until I have real reasons for, ie: labour contractions or water break, which am thankful for. She did prescribe two steroid jabs though for me, for strengthening of baby’s lungs just in case he decides to come out earlier.

The jab was not incapacitatingly painful but wasn’t pleasant either. Right after a jab on one buttcheek, that whole leg throbbed for about 1/2 hour. Am supposed to get a 2nd jab tonight around midnight.

At times like this I can’t stress enough the importance of having a good, informed doctor that you are comfortable with. When choosing a doctor, use word of mouth as reference but make sure meet the doctor and trust your instincts.

Read up so you will be able to ask the right questions and gauge your doctor’s knowledge – whether he or she has kept up with the latest updates in obstetrics or is just coasting along on a comfortable career.

Anyway, we think I am in good hands and we are staying positive and optimistic. Best thing now is hubs won’t nag me about walking or cooking or cleaning hahaha.

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