Friday, May 13, 2016

Coen Xie - The Day (Birth Story)

Forcing a smile while waiting for my epidural!

All set for the epidural, just waiting for the anesthetist!

Rather epic face and hands of Coen when he first came out of me
"Noooo I want to stay in there!!"

Wonders of epidural - Looking extremely at ease while watching them in action

"Awwwww hello Coen"

"Welcome to the 3D2N staycation!"

Chinese selection of confinement food - My first meal of the day after labor!

Zoe and Coen's first meet up, love this photo of us :)

And our first family photo!

Proud grandparents!

Another pair of proud grandparents :)

I had this set of breakfast for both days, super yums!

They even had these props for our photo taking!

Love this too! Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce!

Mount E provided a celebratory dinner for us on the last night :)
You can opt for this or a party set with finger food for your visitors to share

The beef was not too bad!

But this noodles were bleah, tasteless! We should have picked the beef for both of us!

She was extremely eager and excited to carry Coen, plus she refused to take any other photos except while carrying him!

Here's us with my gynae Dr KK Ho at at my postpartum check up, which was also the final visit! Happy Graduation from all of these!

23 April 2016

Waiting for Coen's debut was rather nerve-wrecking, unlike Zoe's because for Zoe I never expected her to be out at week 38 and she didn't show much signs that she would be out that soon. This time it was different because I had the pressure to keep Coen in till after the husband was done with his involvement in Star Awards for two weekends (Week 37 and Week 38). It will be quite a disruption to deliver Coen in the midst of his peak period at work. So we were hoping Coen will hold himself in till after daddy has cleared his work. And, with the history of popping at week 38, I was definitely nervous.

And, I had every reason to worry that he might be out early because I have been having contractions since week 32 together with a bloody show of losing my mucus plug, and at week 36 my gynae announced that I was already 2cm dilated. *gasp*. But, he was very cool about it and said that there was nothing to worry about as my cervix was still rather high and thick and I could stay 2cm for another month. REALLY?! But anyway, to play it safe, I stayed home the entire week and rested as much as I can.

So, on the eve of Week 38, I was full of anticipation because we were going to see my gynae the next day after 2 long weeks. I was anxious to know if I was still 2cm dilated and if my cervix was thinning and ready for labor. In addition, on that night I was telling the husband that I could feel that Coen has dropped much lower into my pelvis as I have been going to the toilet to pee every 2 hours and feeling his uncomfortable punches down under.

 So that night I went to bed, and as usual I couldn't sleep well because I had to get out of bed to pee every other hour. In my sub-consciousness I felt pain and contractions and hardening of my uterus, but these were all pretty normal as I have been feeling this way for weeks. But that night (or morning), I felt a different kind of pain that spread further to my lower back, and i woke up in a daze but fell back asleep. At 615am, I woke up again to pee and when I returned to bed I felt that same kind of pain which got my attention. I decided to stay awake to time the contraction and the frequency of it. After 4 rounds of contractions measuring 10 mins apart, I concluded that this must be it.

So at 7am, I woke the husband up and took a quick shower. I wanted to spend more time in the toilet to enjoy showering before this privilege was being taken off from me for the next couple of days, but the contractions were really making me cringe. Previously for Zoe's, with my water bag already burst, I still had time to iron my clothes, pack my hospital bag and eat a decent breakfast. This time it was nothing like that, I took a bite of my sandwich and told my husband we really got to go now because I do not want to miss the window for my epidural and I definitely need it soon!

But just before I left home, I went into Zoe's room to give her a big fat kiss. It was 730am and she wouldn't be up till 815am. It was probably the hormones because I left her room all teary eyed like I was saying a huge farewell. We then left her with my domestic helper and arranged for my MIL to come over shortly.

Upon reaching Mount Elizabeth (Orchard), we went straight to level 3 which was where the Delivery Suites were. Thankfully I was the only one giving birth at that time which meant that all the nurses were freed up to attend to me! (Later on, I found out that I was the only one who gave birth naturally that day). It was so different when I had Zoe at Mount Alvernia in an overcapacity crowd where I had to wait for a delivery suite.

I got changed into the hospital gown, and the very friendly nurses started streaming in to prepare me for the labor. Surprisingly, my cervix check this time was not as excruciatingly painful, though still painful! I was expecting to be already 3cm or 4cm dilated, but surprise surprise...

"You are 1cm dilated"
ARE YOU KIDDING? I was told I was 2cm dilated 2 weeks back!

"Oh but the baby head is extremely extremely low, once the membrane (water bag) burst, it is going to be very fast, I think yes you better take your epidural now"

By now, my contractions were 4 minutes apart, and every time it hits, I cannot speak, and I refused to shout or make any noise, so I closed my eyes, took very short quick breaths and clenched my fist very tightly just in case I need to punch my husband or the nurse.

Before I could take my epidural, I needed to be given a shot of enema into my rectum to clear my bowels. After doing so, I waited patiently for the anesthetist to come in, which thankfully she came very shortly! My previous experience with epidural was a very pleasant one so I expected this time round to be as pleasant and painless too. But sadly, it wasn't.

I curled up into a ball for the anesthetist to inject me with a local anesthetic to numb the area where the needle and the catheter would be inserted later. It did not felt like a ant bite this time but was quite a bad prick. I was really tensed up as well because I was very nervous (I mean we are talking about injecting around the spinal cord!)  and I was also feeling the contractions at the same time. The nurse had to hold me tightly to prevent me from shivering and wipe my sweat off as I was sweating profusely. The painful part was when the anesthetist had to pressed the catheter in a few times, it was such a different experience compared to the first but I would rather go through this than the labor pain.

Within 2 minutes of the epidural, I was feeling extremely drowsy, I could hardly keep my eyes open when they were putting the IV on me and drawing my blood for the Cordlife banking. The nurses reduced the dosage so that I could be awake and that's where I started to tear out of no reason.

"What happened? Is it still painful?
"No, I am okay" *Sniff*
"So is it tears of joy that the epidural is taking effect?"
"Not really, just maybe tired or something"

I guess it must be the hormones because I remembered having the same episode of tears when I was waiting in the labor ward the first time. And till today, I still can't figured out why I cried both times.

"Hi Jayme"

My gynecologist Dr KK Ho arrived 30 mins after the epidural and that kind of make me feel a lot more settled and less emotional. He was always calm and confident and seeing him always make me feel assured that he's got things in control. He checked my cervix and I was then 2-3cm dilated after 2 hours. Contractions are said to be impressive and so he burst my water bag to further speed up the labor.

"I think we can deliver by noon, which is about 2 hours time, I will come check on you later"

While waiting, I drifted in and out because the nurses were coming in and out explaining 3-4 brochures to the husband and I. Honestly I had no idea what was she talking about, it was information overload at that point, she was even going through where the fire exits were and how I would be evacuated....I mean who in the right mind can take in all that stuff in the midst of labor.

After 1.5 hours
"Hey you are 9cm dilated already! Let me call Doctor Ho"

Doctor Ho was right, I really was going to deliver by noon and I could hardly believe how fast the dilation sped up in just 1.5 hours from 2cm to 3cm all the way to 9cm. The nurses prepped me for the delivery, and Dr Ho arrived very shortly. He was in good spirits that the labor was happening very quickly.

"Okay Jayme I want you to hold your hands on these two bars and when I say push, you push"
"Okay contractions coming right up, push!"

I pushed with all my might using my core muscles and feeling like my blood vessels on my face probably are going to burst

"Change your breath quickly and push again!"

"Ohhh I can see the head already, very good keep it up"

So with 6 pushes, our baby boy was out. Or rather his head was out and I did not even know that because I couldn't see anything from my view and there wasn't any crying either. I had to ask if I was still needed to push because everyone was suddenly very busy with tubes, scissors etc, and then my husband told me his head was already out and they were sucking the amniotic fluid out from his mouth, which by the way kudos to the very brave husband who was feeling so at home in the labor ward taking photos and observing the whole bloody process without any sign of fainting or cringing in fear.

After cutting the umbilical cord, the nurses quickly put Coen onto my chest for skin to skin contact. Well, just like the previous time there were no tears but rather I was shocked by this wriggly crying baby who smelt so strongly of blood. The nurses continued to clean him up etc, while I was trying to make sense of what just happened amidst his loud crying.

"Hey Coen, shhh shhh its okay, mama is here"
And then he kept quiet

And that's where I felt the connection, him responding to my voice.

After Dr Ho delivered my placenta, he had it thoroughly checked to make sure there wasn't any membranes left in there. I think he probably double checked it because the previous time I had some left over placenta membrane which led to postpartum hemorrhage on day 10. (Read here on my traumatic experience)

After all the necessary procedures were done, we waited in the ward for quite some time as my ward was then being cleaned up after a patient discharged. I was feeling extremely drained after labor though it was such a short one with only 6 pushes, in fact I don't remember feeling this way when I had Zoe; I was full of energy after 12 hours of labor. While waiting, I tried to breastfeed Coen, and at the same time vomiting 5-6 times due to the side effects of the injection to contract my uterus

The nurses at the delivery suite were very helpful and friendly as well, they were constantly checking on us and being apologetic that we had to wait for my ward to be cleaned up. What really touched me in this entire stay at Mount E was that even when I had shifted to my ward that was one level above, I had 2 nurses from the delivery suite coming to visit me separately. They popped by on their own accord asking if I was recovering well and congratulating me again on the smooth delivery. How sweet! I wrote them a thank you card just before I left the hospital, hoping it will make their day.

So this pretty much is the birth story!

My postpartum recovery at Mount E for the next 2.5 days were really extremely comfortable and a wonderful experience, so much so that I was feeling a little sad to discharge and wished I could stay for another 1-2 more days.

I had to be on bed rest for 6 hours before I could get down to walk or go to the toilet. First trip to the toilet to pee is a big deal especially after pushing a baby out down under. My previous first peeing and pooing experience when I had Zoe was a complete painless one, and this was also one of the reasons why I went back to the same gynae who delivered me because his stitching must have been really really good.

In addition, Dr Ho's practice that I didn't need any urinary catheter at all for both deliveries. And, I have heard of stories of my friends who felt the stinging sensation every time they pee for a few days and some even had to sit on a swim float for a week because of the episiotomy wound. So this time, thankfully it was the same, no pain at all when I pee and poo, just a whole lot of nerves when I sat on the toilet bowl. My stitches were also healing really well, and it was overall a painless recovery process with just a slight backache that disappeared after I discharged.

Also, prior to the labor, my husband and I agreed that we would not publicly announce Coen's birth immediately so that I would get sufficient rest from having very minimal visitors. (I was initially hesitant because I really wanted to upload his cute face on my Instagram when I delivered!) Hence, during my entire stay, we only had both our families visiting and just 1 group of friends on the last night. I am thankful that I heeded the husband's advice because even with only our families visiting, I was already finding it hard to rest and felt really tired after that.

Furthermore, with the baby wheeling in and out every 3 hours for feeding, I was also a little stress about him fussing over the latching and feeding him with the curtains close for 30 minutes while my visitors were outside chatting. It did make it a little more stressful to want to quickly finish feeding. So anyway, a big thank you to everyone who wanted to visit, I appreciate your thought and understanding that I needed to take some time off!

Also, before I end off this entry, a big thank you to the husband who went home to prepare the house before his big day at Star Awards. On the day of my discharge, I was so thankful to come home seeing the sterilizer and milk bottles in place, my breast pump and necessities at my bedside table, bedroom slippers beside the bed, Coen's cot all tidied and everything else like the pots and pails prepared for my confinement too. I basically did not even have to worry a single thing but to just rest and nurse Coen. Thank you hubs! *MUACK*

Okay, I am going to stop here, this is a really really heavy post which took me two weeks of my very precious daily 15-30 mins me-time to finish. Thanks for reading and sharing our joy! I will be back to blog soon I hope!


  1. Congrats! Love the photos of the new addition to the family! U guys are blessed! :)