We're in love!
Completely and utterly in love with the newest addition to our family: Christian Gabriel Mah!
He was born on Tuesday morning, 19 April 2011, at 2.20am, weighing 3.130kg - or around 6.8 pounds.
We went through a normal delivery, with epidural, when he was just 37 weeks.
The week before, we had gone to the doc on Tuesday to find that I was 3cm dilated, with contractions. But since he wasn't full term yet, Dr Khi suggested against inducing. The next day though, there was quite a bit of bloody discharge and since this was baby number one, we thought we'd better be safe than sorry and went to the hospital.
Turns out it was a false alarm and I spent the next few days on leave, with Ewan on high alert in case I feel any contractions or if the water bag bursts.
The week passed and soon it was Monday, when we had another appointment at the Gynae. Dr Khi did another check and since I was 5cm dilated with regular contractions, she advised that I be admitted to the delivery ward that very day! I couldn't quite believe it then, but in the next day or so, we would be parents!
So we went to Mount Alvernia hospital - hospital bag and stuff had already been packed the previous week. We even had time to squeeze in a Subway lunch and paid our friend Ben a visit (he was warded at Mount A for a leg injury).
Upon admittance to the labour ward, I still did not feel my contractions much. Ewan went to settle the admission papers and I was given something to help me move my bowels - to which I maintain was the most painful part of the ENTIRE day. I thought it was an oral laxative, but NO, it was administered ANALLY. Within seconds I felt diarrhea pains. But the nurse said I was to wait five to ten minutes before going to the toilet. It was such an agonizing time! And then Ewan said he had to go to the toilet too, so I shooed him off and told him then when he gets back it was totally my turn. He got back in about seven minutes and I gratefully went to relieve myself.
The next few hours were quite uneventful.
After we said a prayer together, Ewan went back home to get some stuff and make some last minute preparations for the baby. I spent my time lying down, trying to fall asleep, channel surfing, reading my book and letting my mind wander about the coming addition to our family.
I worried about the next time I would be home, carrying a baby in my arms - would everything be ready? Would everything be clean? Did I manage to buy everything we needed?
I thought about the things I would miss about being pregnant, the little kicks and punches, how he moves the most at night, how he likes to stick a limb out and when I ask daddy to feel him, he sometimes lies absolutely still as if teasing daddy.
And sometimes when he moves so much at night, preventing me from sleeping, daddy would sing to him "My bubby lies over the ocean, my bubby lies over the sea..." and he would actually stop moving and listen.
I thought about the endless nights of waking up to pee cos it often felt like he was punching my bladder or simply just lying on it.
I thought about what sports he would grow up playing, what subjects he would like in school, what his favourite food would be (I have a feeling it would be chicken rice), whether he would sleep easy, whether he would like dogs and Cleo, what his favourite colour would be, what he would want to be when he grows up... the possibilities were just endless.
Having a baby is just so amazing. How God creates this little person to be placed in the care of two people, and how he could be anything that God wanted him to be.
Soon it was around 7pm and the nurses asked if I wanted dinner. Sure I thought. After all, I was going to need all the energy I could get for the night ahead. Dinner was chicken rice - absolutely yummy! Plus this was the exact food that got Christian moving to the right position when we did the detailed scan for down syndrome during his 20th week. What a way to get a boost of energy for his journey into the world!
Dr Khi arrived at about 9pm to burst my water bag. There was some discomfort but it was manageable. The gush of warm water down my legs was more strange than anything.
Contractions started coming, but they weren't painful. My tummy was just hardening from time to time. We also managed to catch the first episode of the third season of Fringe. Yay!
The nurses then asked if I would like to go on the epidural which I agreed (best choice ever). The anesthetist came and administered it. That's where the discomfort started. As the drugs went in, I felt like the bed was moving - either that or the room was swirling. The grogginess stopped after a while, but then the shivering started. I felt I could control it by taking deep breaths but after a while that got too tiring and I just let myself shiver.
Then the nurses started me on the drip to induce labour.
This went slowly at first, and I hardly felt anything. They then increased the dosage and told me to lie on my left side. The position would help the baby move downwards.
I then started to feel the force of the baby pushing downwards. After about an hour, the nurses checked and I was ten cm dilated. Time to call Dr Khi!
She came in about half an hour or so, and I was ready to start pushing.
Ewan was there, encouraging me the whole way, and our darling Christian arrived at 2.20am.
According to the nurses, the minute his head was out, he opened his eyes and took a look around the outside world :)
The proud daddy then cut the umblical cord, which he said looked like Chee Cheong Fun.
And then the wailing started. He's got an enormous set of lungs!
The nurses then measured his head circumference (34cm), his length (53cm) and his weight (3.130kg).
He was wrapped up and put on my belly. Will never forget that moment :)
We then took some family shots and photos with our gynae before I was stitched up and brought to the Our Lady's ward, St Simon's room for some rest.
In all, labour was about six hours - which is apparently pretty short for a first baby! It was a most incredible experience and I thank God for the smooth delivery and our beautiful baby boy :)