We’re back home from the hospital, thanks for all the well-wishes and lovely emails!
Baby Finn is doing really well and the two bigger kids are having a lot of fun examining him like he’s a strange new specimen. It’s a little surreal now that we’ve got 3 kids and the reality of it is finally sinking in.
Exciting times ahead.
So the birth story. It’s pretty much the same story as millions of other births but I’ll tell it anyway.
On Sunday night, I started getting a little crampish right around dinner time. I wasn’t sure if it was another false alarm and since the contractions were still intermittent, I left it alone and went to watch the National Day Rally, waiting for a more definitive sign. It must have been a very powerful speech by our Prime Minister because by the time it ended, the contractions were down to 6 minutes apart and increasingly painful. A sign that it was time to head for the hospital.
Remember how I was planning for a medication-free birth? I had a whole list of pain management techniques that I’d been practicing, like hissing, deep breathing, yoga poses, exercise ball bounces and slow stretches.
Most of them required some mobility but because I had a previous c-section, the risk of uterine rupture meant that I had to be hooked up to a CTG monitor and put on a drip, ready for an emergency c-section if the baby started showing signs of distress. Which meant that I was confined to the bed throughout the entire labor process and all I could do was hiss and breathe. Ok, FYI, those are the 2 most useless techniques, trust me.
At 11pm, the pain was about a level 8 and after 2 hours of hissing, I was rolling around on the gurney, about to unleash every profanity in the English language, as well as some in Hokkien. In between contractions, the nurse looked at me kindly and asked if I wanted epidural.
“Not yet, I’m going to hold out for a little longer,” was my reply.
“It’s a Sunday night, so if you decide not to, we won’t get the anesthetist and you’ll have to go all the way without it.”
“Ok, just give me 5 minutes to think.”
*BAM, the next wave of contractions*
“NURSE!! GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL NOW!!!!”
“We’ll call the anesthetist, but it will take about 30 minutes for him to arrive. You just hang in there.”
30 MINUTES?? For a woman who is in labor, 30 minutes is a LONG TIME. That’s 10 rounds of contractions at 3 minutes apart. That’s how zombies get started, y’all. Ever wonder how patient zero happens? It’s probably a nurse who gets her face bitten off by a woman in labor told to wait 30 minutes for her epidural.
Thankfully he managed to arrive in 20 and after I got my epidural, it was all good. I could even relax and watch a movie while waiting for the labor to progress.
I was a little bummed that I couldn’t go medication-free but my gynae looked at me with all his years of wisdom and said, “It’s not the way to prove your worth as a mom. You get to do that after your child is born.” That made me feel so much better.
Finally, at 3.25am, baby Finn was born, looking all wrinkly and squishy. But he was ours and he was perfect.