Thursday, 27 May 2010
Our darling baby boy made his first appearance in the big big world at 6am today. At 3.1kg, he’s the biggest of the three at birth (Brandon was 2.7kg, while Andrea weighed in at 2.6kg).
As I write this, the room is dimmed, Reuben is sleeping soundly in his little crib next to my hospital bed, and we are about to spend a night here.
It’s been blissful so far. Reuben has been a very easy baby, rarely crying, and a natural at latching on when he needs to feed. His little whimpers are adorable and very polite. Completely different from Andrea’s screeching! I’ve managed to rest up lots—re-reading The Baby Whisperer, watching a little tv, drifting off to nap when my eyes get heavy.
The delivery itself was quick and furiously intense. I had a snack, showered, packed my bags and drove myself here at 11:30pm last night (Han had just begun his presentation at his WebCamp conference, so I couldn’t call him out of that). I roused our servant to mind the kids while waiting for Han to get home. The contractions I had were very regular and had begun to get painful enough to be distracting—hence the decision to finally make my way over to Pantai. I’m glad that I made the move at that point, because if I had waited any longer, the escalating pain could have made it difficult for me to handle the car.
I checked myself in at the labour ward. From there things moved really quickly. Han came by as quick as he could after the conference, stayed for a while and then had to go home to check on the kids. I tried to sleep as much as I could. By 4:15am my strategy of staving off the pain with long deep breaths wasn’t working as well anymore, and I finally asked for entonox. I rang up Han to ask him to make his way to the hospital. By then my cervix was 5cm dilated. By the time he arrived about 30 minutes later though, the pain was really getting to me. My request for Pethidine (I felt a bit ashamed for wanting to have stronger pain relief) was rejected after they examined me again, as I was already 8cm dilated.
The urge to push at that point was unbearable—but I had to wait for my gynae to arrive. I’m so glad Han was there with me, his voice cutting through the haze of drugged-out pain, telling me everything was alright, to keep breathing, that I was doing a great job. I was wrenching his hand and fingers so hard. The nurses and midwives were wonderful too—it helped immensely to sense that they were very experienced.
Finally, when I felt so tired and despairing because there didn’t seem to be an end in sight to the pain, I heard someone tell me that Dr Wong had arrived. Something akin to relief clicked in my head, even as I had my eyes still squeezed shut and wanting so badly to thrash about with my legs. I was thinking, “Oh GOOD you’re here—that means I can PUSH!”
But moments later, as I gave what felt like the goofiest grin when I saw my doctor, he told me to do the exact opposite. “Don’t push yet!” Before he could tell me why though, I realised that my water bag had just burst at that moment, the bed was getting completely soaked, I was saying, “I’m not pushing, I’m not pushing…!”
Then as if by magic, this gloopy bundle slipped right out without any effort on my part, and Reuben’s first cry followed seconds later.
All notions of pain, fear, and doubt, evaporated with that cry. Here was our third little miracle.
I’m looking at him now. He’s sleeping quite well, but occasionally he scrunches up his face, and lets out the tiniest whimper. When he starts crying, I don’t pick him up, but softly tell him that I’m here, that everything’s okay. And he settles himself back to sleep again.