Letters to Michael James - Your Birth Story

Dearest Michael James,

You were born on the 20th of June 2018. And it took us by surprise. Your scheduled Csection was for the 22nd of June, a Friday, when you're at week 38. We opted for a repeat csection out of pure choice... you didn't need it from a medical stand point, it was a smooth, easy and low risk pregnancy (unlike what I had with your sister Myla Rae).
I was keen on a repeat Csection because my first surgery had practically zero recovery time, minimal discomfort in the days after it. Plus that Csection was a complicated one, while yours would be a very routine and low risk one. Also, you were turning out to be quite a whopper. If you stayed until 40Weeks, you would definitely be over 4 kilos. (No I don't have gestational diabetes, you're just a big boy).

In the weeks leading up to D-Day... I had a hunch that you wouldn't wait until your Csection date. So yes, hospital bags packed in advance. I even asked my gynea over the last few visits about WHAT DO I DO if I go into labour before the date. He told me that when I had contractions or the water bag bursts, go straight to Mount Alvernia and they will contact him. And he reassured me that it's not common to not make the week 38 elective csection date. Like out of 10 patients, 8 or 9 will make it to the date. Well guess who was lucky patient #10 ? Lol

The day before you arrived, I had what they call a bloody show. It's when you lose the mucus plug and it's blood streaked. But several people told me there's no need to go hospital yet, just wait for contractions... and even after contractions start there's still no need to rush until they're like 10 or 20 minutes apart. Of course I make my own informed decisions and I wasn't going to listen to that bullshit. Fuck, if my contractions 10 mins apart, how the fuck am I supposed to get to hospital, get assessed and then get my gynea to make his way down, and prep for surgery etc. Baby will be born liao!

But on the other hand, I didn't want to be that idiot that goes all the way to labour ward only to be told to go home because it's a false alarm or just nerves or braxton hicks. 

So I decided I would wait until I felt the first contraction.

The next morning at 4 am. I thought I felt it. Like a slight cramp. But still I wasn't sure... I never went into labour with Myla Rae, I don't know what contractions feel like. To me this cramp was negligible. I looked at your dad, sound asleep. I waited until 6 am when he sorta woke briefly, and I asked him if he had a terribly busy day at work? He said No.. why? Then I told him I started having contractions but I wasn't sure if they were contractions lol. 

So he asked if I wanted to go to the hospital straight away. I decided there would be time to shower, and then I ironed some of his work clothes for the following week (just in case baby does come and I won't have the time to do it), we drove from Sembawang to Pasir ris to drop Myla off. And then went to Mount Alvernia Hospital. We got there at 9plus am. As per my gynea's orders, I didn't eat or drink anything that morning, just in case I had to go for surgery.

We were directed to the labour ward. I was asked if i needed a wheelchair and I was like uh no I can walk there. Wtf Wheelchair?!! And it crossed my mind again, that I would be wasting everyone's time with a false alarm.

In labour ward they hooked me up to a monitor, and for 30 mins, NO CRAMPS OR CONTRACTIONS or whatever it was I was feeling. The nurse even double checked with me if I had been having contractions? Cos so far no contractions. 

*errr super sheepish look on my face*

Then another nurse came in and said my gynea asked to check if I was dilating yet. She stuck her fingers in there and four FUCKING FOUR of them slid painfully up my cervix. So apparently, I was already in active labour and have to prep for my csection already. (Luckily I wasn't sent home based on the lack of contractions!)

So our Dr Chan is on his way down (from his clinic in Pasir ris) to perform the csection (ETA 1pm), and I'm being prepped for surgery while your dad handles the paperwork and takes our bags up to our room.  

I'm lying on a gurney (is that what it's called? lol) in like a large holding room outside the operating theaters. And then my brain started to register the contractions. Oh man they are very uncomfortable. Like it's the kind of discomfort that will make your brain unable to think straight.

I'm watching the clock, please please hurry get to 1pm so we can start surgery. I'm also worried that maybe if like I dilate all the way then they're going to have to put me under GA (it works faster)... instead of just an epidural. And if so, then your dad won't be allowed into the operating theater to witness your birth.

Apparently it's a rainy day and roads are congested, so it's 1pm and I'm still lying there ....with the IV and catheter (pee tube) in so not like I can get off the gurney and walk about or even sit up. And like it's so uncomfortable for me to lie on my back for an extended period of time, I will feel quite breathless and just generally bad because my belly so big. And now plus the damn contractions.

I ask the nurses what the delay was, and they said that my doctor was on his way. Then some other nurse tells me to breath in through my mouth or nose or asshole or whatever... **in my head - Shut up you are annoying me!**

Finally at around 1.30pm. the anesthesiologist comes and introduces himself... plus said some other stuff I didn't listen to... because contractions lol.  Then asks if I had any questions? Just one.... when are you going to start the epidural?!

Then I was wheeled in to surgery, transferred onto the surgical bed thingy. They did more things with the IV, and what not. The anesthesiologist then rolled me to my side, knees up to my chest (or as far as they could reach cos belly in the way), boy was I thankful he's a big guy cos he practically did all the moving for me. 

Dr Chan arrives, with his scrubs and mask on, and says cheerfully, "Hi Holly! Can recognise me?"

-_-  YES *in the most un-amused tone I've ever used* (lol. that was the pain speaking) 

Actually both your dad and I love this doctor a lot. We were just saying yesterday that we will miss seeing him as our last visit to his clinic is tomorrow for my post surgery check up.

Once the epidural kicked in (very fast, within a few minutes of being rolled onto by side and felt some small pin pricks to my spine).

WOW WHAT A BIG DIFFERENCE. It's like a sudden wave of calmness and floatiness. *heavenly* (seriously people who do natural birth, I recommend you just take the epidural, there's no extra points for suffering, you'll be more in control and more in the moment to enjoy the birthing experience because you're not in bloody agony).

Then your daddy gets to come in to surgery and sit next to my head. Yay! So exciting!

Of course the surgery itself is painless. I could hear snipping (of flesh, muscle, skin etc). Your daddy peered over the sheet screen a few times because he was curious. Maybe he will share the gory details with you some day. Or write a guest post on my blog about his whole experience.
The immense crushing feeling on my ribcage which I had with the birth of your sister, was very mild this time. The Anesthesiologist did the pushing and he was very precise, like one shove and out you popped. Michael James, our son.
After I went to some recovery area to be monitored for 30 mins, I could go back to the ward and be with you and daddy.
And later that evening, your sister arrived to see you. She was excited to be a big sister and fawned over you (Btw, you're 10 days old now and she still does). 

That first evening, I was told by the nurses that I cannot eat or drink anything until my doctor checks me and clears me for food and drink. And Dr Chan would only come for his rounds the NEXT MORNING. Wah lau you want me to fast for more than 24hours?!

Meanwhile, your dad had already bought a mountain of sashimi for me (as promised). It was sitting in the room fridge... and Coke! Luckily, having our own room to ourselves, we can sneakily do whatever we want. So I ate some sashimi and had some very conservative sips of Coke. Oh mannnnnn that felt good.

30 minutes later, I vomited it all out (into a plastic bag because I could not leave my bed due to the catherter still in me and IV lines). You dad had to take the vomit bag out of the ward to dispose of the evidence hahaha. 

And guess what? I decided to give it another go. Lol. I ate some more sashimi and this time drank the Coke without restraint cos like.. vomit vomit lor. 

And then vomited.

Then your dad decided to stop the madness and said I better stop eating and wait until the morning as my intestines are obviously a mess (cos the csection surgery). 

We slept well that first night, despite having to wake a few times to feed you when the nurses wheeled your bassinet in for me to nurse you. The next morning, I finally got to have breakfast and yes I kept it down. And the catherter and IV lines were removed so I could start being mobile.
(By the way, this Csection was even better than the first, practically zero downtime and no pain. Dr Chan got skills)

So that my boy is your birth story. :) 

Hope you will always stay ahead in life. (No pressure lol)