Its already been 1 week since Baby J arrived! Time really seems to have zoomed by. Thought I should pen down his birth story before the post-pregnancy amnesia sinks in...
Those of you following this blog would know that the Braxton Hicks contractions for the previous few weeks were pretty strong (and we had a few false alarms too). I wasn't too sure how to tell if it was going to be the real thing or not, and hubby kept asking me "How far apart are they? Are they regular?". Last Thursday, the contractions were coming on and off at a rate of 2-3 an hour, and I think I freaked my hairdresser out by constantly timing my contractions while he was trimming my hair (good thing I did get that haircut, since we ended up at the hospital the next day!).
Friday (21st Oct) rolled by, and the contractions were still pretty frequent. My gynae did a check that morning, and told us it was going to be soon, probably the next day, or even that night itself! Then she told us some bad news: she was going to be in KL to give a talk on Sunday, so she would have to arrange for back-up if I happened to need to deliver on Sunday.
What followed was a whole flurry of activity. We decided to go for a nice lunch with Junior J (just in case it was Mama's "last supper" before she had to go on the confinement diet), then it was back home for the boy's nap. We had to rush down to the hospital after the boy woke up, to sign the forms for the cord blood banking (we had totally forgot to arrange for this!). Little boy insisted on playing at the playground after that, and since the contractions seemed to be getting more frequent, I decided to sit in the car to rest while waiting for them. I started timing them properly, and realized with a start, that they were actually coming at a regular interval of 7 minutes!
We decided to risk it and went to drop off the boy at my parent's place (initially I had hoped we'd be able to put him to bed first, since he was used to us doing so), gobbled down dinner (my mum would have been most upset if we didn't eat since she had cooked for us, and even tried to make us "tabao" fruits along to the hospital!), ran back home to get some stuff, and rushed back to the hospital again, reaching there at about 8 pm.
Half an hour later, we were all settled in and I got my epidural (yes, I'm a ninny wrt pain, and anyway, the hubby says all his female anaesthetist colleagues opted for epidurals, which more or less vouches for the safety of the procedure). My gynae popped by, did a check, and thought it'll probably take awhile, and left. Thinking it'll be a long wait, the hubby settled down to clear some urgent work, while I was googling about how to push (again, it's post-pregnancy amnesia to blame). Time passed rather uneventfully, except for the time I rolled to my side, and Baby J's heart rate started to drop dramatically (but that was remedied once I rolled to lie on my back).
Then at about 10 plus, the nurse did a check, and decided it was time. She called my gynae, and then I was asked to wait until she arrived. She came, and the pushing started. A couple of eye-ball popping pushes later (I thought I was going to burst the capillaries in my eyes), and Baby J arrived, just slightly after 11 pm!
All in all, I'm really thankful that God saw us through those 9 months, and:
:: That the whole labour process was pretty quick this round (a friend commented that it took a shorter time for me to give birth than for her to finish her beer!), and recovery has been much faster as well. I'm still not back to normal, but at least I was able to get up and about the next day.
:: That the epidural worked pretty well. I had the minor side-effects like shivering, nausea and a slight headache, but the pain relief this time was really effective. I was rather worried about this, since in Junior J's case the epidural didn't cover some of the pain, and they had to give me a second one... (it was supposedly what tends to happen to the spouses of anaesthetists, where pain relief procedures seem to go wrong!)
:: We managed to settle Junior J under my parents' care before going to the hospital (one of our initial worries was that we'd be unable to get them by phone when the time came), and even though it was his first time ever having to go to sleep without papa or mama being around, he was a champ and didn't give his grandparents any problems (in fact, he reportedly told them what to do in our usual routine!).
:: For the quiet week we had, since this round we decided to have a "no visitors rule" for the first week (save for very close friends), to let us settle down and allow for Junior J to get used to his brother's presence.
:: For our parents' help in taking care of Junior J, helping around the house, and my mum, who has been helping in the chores and cooking my confinement food.
So we are still one small happy family, but this family just got a lil' bigger!