pregnancy, Theo

The birth story

Ok, I’ve finally had time to write down baby Theo’s birth story. It’s not terribly exciting but one day he’ll grow up and I’d want him to have a chance to read about how he came into this world and be completely grossed out.


2pm: Contractions start coming in intermittently. 10-15 minutes apart. Contrary to my usual philosophy of avoiding pain, I find myself hoping for more pain. Pregnancy does strange and wonderful things to your brain.

6pm: More pain, indeed! Celebratory dance in between contractions.

6.15pm: Phone call to the husband – “Babe, I think you should come home now, it’s time!” After all the false alarms, I think he doesn’t take me seriously anymore but points for still making it home in record time.

6.25pm: Wash my hair. One needs to have priorities when one is giving birth and one of them is to wash one’s hair.

7.25pm: Finally leave for the hospital. You know what, I think we’ve got time for a detour to get some tang yuan, the peanut kind in piping hot ginger soup. Again, priorities! Clearly mine are spot on.

8.20pm: Arrive at Thomson Medical.

Me: Hi nurse, I think I’m in labor.

Nurse: Ok, come with me. Your husband can proceed downstairs to settle the registration and paperwork.

Me: Yeah, about that…I think you should check my cervix first. If it’s another false alarm, I’m getting out of here.

Nurse: Um, why don’t we wait for the doctor to decide?

Me: Just check the cervix. I’d do it myself but I don’t possess the necessary skills to check my own cervix, Seriously, if I’m not dilated, I’m going back home.

9pm: OBGYN arrives. I’m 2cm dilated and contractions still erratic. It could be hours away or days away(??!!) I had half a mind to just go back home and ride this out with some deep breathing techniques but then a really bad contraction comes on and all my willpower disappears. I’m staying close to the epidural.

11pm: I make the husband go home. “Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll call you if the baby decides to come out. Or I’ll just post the photo on Facebook.” And I wasn’t even really kidding. After 4 kids, this is how we roll.

4am: OHMYGODITHURTS!!! If the pain level was about a 5-6, this was an 8. Definitely epidural territory. Also, thank God I didn’t go home.



5am: Is this what it feels like to be dying? I’M PRETTY SURE I’M DYING. The nurse says I’m not dying and the epidural will be here soon. But she’s been saying that for the past hour and I’m starting to question everything she says.

5.20am: Epidural in progress. The needle hurts like hell but oh, sweet relief. No, wait. Sort of. All the epidural seems to be going to my right side. I can still feel everything on my left. It’s a totally weird feeling, not like 50% of the pain, but 100% of the pain concentrated in my left half.

5.40am: I’m told to lie on my left to make the epidural flow to the left. 20 minutes in and still not working.

6.15am: Nurses are coming in to witness this phenomenon. “See, the right leg is warm but the left leg is very cold,” says one.

“I can feel everything on my left side. I can even wriggle my left pinky toe,” I added helpfully.

6.30am: 2 more nurses come in to observe the MAGNIFICENT LEFT TOE WRIGGLING. Followed by some prodding. “So strange, the left leg is like ice. Can you feel the pain?” another nurse asks.


9am: After 3 hours of fiddling with the epidural tube, the great one-sided epidural mystery is still not solved. The pain is worse than ever.

9.25am: OBGYN says I’m 3cm dilated. “NO WAY,” I said. “After all of that and I only progressed by 1cm? At this rate, I’ll be here for days.” He decides to burst my water bag to help move things along.

10.15am: The husband is back and I feel better. Hahahha, no I don’t. The pain in my left half has reached a solid 10 but at least I have someone around to tell me geek jokes. He repeats my favourite one and I still crack a smile.

“Yo momma so fat her patronus is a cake.” Hahahahhaha.

12pm: They decided to pump me with A LOT MORE epidural and that seems to solve the half-sided problem. My left side has gone numb too and I can finally breathe again. Life is beautiful with epidural.

12.30pm: OBGYN returns and decides it’s time to induce. “This has gone on long enough,” were his exact words. “We need to speed up the process. Induction raises the risk of wound rupture but we’ll take it slow and we’ll monitor it closely.” I get a bag of oxytocin attached to my IV.

1.15pm: Good call. I’m suddenly 7cm dilated. With any luck, the baby should be out by 3pm.

2.30pm: I feel like something is falling out. Which is weird because I can’t even feel my legs but something is definitely falling out. I have this overwhelming urge to push. The nurse does a quick check and 10cm, it’s game on!

3pm: OBGYN puts on his scrubs and the nurses form like a cheering squad. It’s surreal having 4 people peering at my lady bits and cheering for me to push. There’s no modesty in childbirth. Naturally, I oblige.

3.21pm: Theo’s out and he’s the most beautiful slime-covered tiny human I’ve ever seen.

The end. Or rather, the beginning.

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  • Reply Daphne Maia August 6, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    I actually kind of enjoyed reading this. Lol. Reminds me of the time I was waiting at the hospital for my bestie’s son’s arrival.

    Btw… My sis had labour pains for 82 hrs before they called for Cesarean. Lol. Yep. 82 hrs.

    • Reply Daphne August 7, 2014 at 10:36 am

      82 hours and then cesarean?? That’s madness. But respect for sticking it through!!

  • Reply DinA August 6, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    82hrs?! And then c -sect that’s like having the worst pain ever pre and post.

    Daphne, it’s so enjoyable to read the post above as I had 2 and both are c-sect. I sort of feel something missing that I didn’t do it the natural way. Your post made me feel like giving a go at #3. (For 3 secs) but 2 is good for me now.

    • Reply Daphne August 7, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Haha you should definitely go vbac for #3!! The feeling when the baby comes out is indescribably shiok, like something huge finally came out.

      Also, the recovery for normal delivery is so much easier. It took me 2 weeks to get out of bed after Tru’s c-sect but for Theo, I was out of the hospital in less than 24 hours. My OBGYN discharged me the next morning :)

  • Reply Madeline Heng August 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Lucky yours worked at the end! My epi didn’t and I ended up giving birth pain and all, on a scale of 1-10 my pain level being 12! (And same only half of my body was numb, but even so just slightly). Traumatic as hell haha it’s a story I will tell till the day I die I think hahs
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    • Reply Daphne August 7, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Serious??? I kept begging them to pump me with more epidural and it worked. I think eventually all that epidural had to go somewhere so it went to the left side as well heh.

      And hey at least it’s over and you survived to tell the tale. It’s a fine one!

  • Reply Christine August 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    OMG! I really enjoy reading this story and glad everything turned well for you and Theo at the end of the day.

    I never knew that epi could work in our system in such uneven ways… So scary! I plan to have epi again for my 2nd delivery but am dreading the needle that goes to the spine actually. Could you avoid episiotomy this time around? That one is traumatic too.
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    • Reply Daphne August 8, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Yeah that really hurts!! But at least that’s over in a minute or so, and then it’s awesome all the way. Didn’t need an episiotomy this round so that was great!

  • Reply Wen August 8, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Congrats Daphne! You are awesome! Reading this post reminds me of my own labour, all sound so familiar except I ended up with two epidural done in one childbirth, horrible experience but memorable episode!

    • Reply Daphne August 8, 2014 at 10:49 am

      2 epidurals?? Ouch! But you’re right, childbirth is one of those experiences you’ll remember for life.

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  • Reply Emeline February 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Daphne, I was doing research on vbac and chanced upon your blog…your posts give me hope to have successful vbac for my #2 due next month! My first was elective csec due to breech and am still torn between another csec or vbac this time.

    • Reply Daphne March 2, 2015 at 11:58 am

      Hi Emeline, congrats on your #2!! So exciting!

      A vbac is definitely easier to recover from and very doable if you take the necessary precautions. I had a very supportive obgyn who helped me deliver 3 babies via vbac :) All the best!

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