Hello, Caleb!

My little Redbean was born 26 Aug 2016 in the afternoon after a long and arduous labour of 30 hours! I deserve a huge round of applause!

Born 2 days shy from his EDD, Redbean finally was willing to come out after torturing me for 38 hours in the delivery ward.

The story goes like this.

Long and heavy post ahead!

On 24 Aug (Wed), I felt contractions from 12ish in the noon, slightly before Leland bought lunch back for me. It went on quite regularly for the entire day and it prompted me to head to the hospital after monitoring for 12 hours. 5 minutes interval, 1 minute duration and at least for an hour straight. It was definitely time!

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Final family shot of the 3 of us before it became 4!

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Casper was looking all lost, wondering why we were preparing to leave home at 12 midnight.

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My last shot of the baby bump. I was oh-so-ready!

We headed down to the hospital after settling Casper with my sis. We had our hospital bag packed so it was just take and go. We arrived at the delivery ward slightly around 1220am (25 Aug) and was directed to one of the nice delivery wards, 3A for monitoring.

Strapped to the CTG monitor, I thought finally we would be seeing our baby after 39 weeks!

Once at the hospital, the contractions became irregular and weak. I felt disappointed, like it was another false alarm. But I was hopeful. I kept wishing for my cervix to open quickly so we could see Redbean soon. We tried to sleep but the bed was uncomfortable while Leland was stuck on a sofa, so it was pretty much not a good night for us. Plus, we were anxious.

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Note the bottom graph was really irregular without any major peaks.

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Still all smiles at 1.30am. We were actually getting ready to get some sleep. Leland had a small sofa beside which could be extended out for his legs.

25 Aug, 8am – 8 hours passed. Nothing much showed up on the CTG. Contractions were mild and irregular. Seriously? They were so regular and obvious at home but at the hospital, they made me look like I faked my own labour.

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A shot at 8.35am, still smiley and positive. And with great hair.

Dr Goh came in and checked on me. My cervix wasn’t opened, still stuck at 1.5 – 2cm only. Oh God!

She offered me 3 options:

1. Go home and wait (for water bag to break)

2. Transfer me to normal ward and wait (pay for expensive hotel stay)

3. Induce and wait

I went for option 3 since we were already in the hospital and we had medical staff around if anything happened. Never would I know it was the start of the long labour.

Dr Goh then instructed the nurses/midwives to insert the induction pill and monitor my cervix.

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Taken at 11am. I was still able to walk around without much discomfort, except for the weight and pressure. But I wanted to walk more to allow my cervix to open further.

Periodically, my cervix was checked for dilation and damn, dilation took damn long. As induction could take 6 to 8 hours to take effect, we could only wait. I had a few contractions and nothing too painful yet for me to handle. I still thought it wouldn’t be that bad and my threshold was high enough. Perhaps I wouldn’t even need epidural.

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My lunch was finally served at around 1pm. Fish, veggies, chicken soup, with a cold drink and fruits. Not bad leh! I was happily enjoying my lunch.

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Yum!

3+pm – After 7 hours, I was induced a second time because I was still only 2cm dilated. Blame my thick cervix wall for such a slow dilation. This induction brought in stronger contractions though. Still no dilation damn it! I was writhing in pain! And Dr Goh advised against epidural too early as it might slow down the dilation even further and the water bag couldn’t be broken yet this and that. So I tahan-ed.

It was a long game of waiting. Contractions came and went every 5 to 10 minutes. I could watch the monitor and could predict the next contraction. If it started getting aggressive, I would cringe and then let it happen since I couldn’t stop it.

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Look at the peaks. They were coming in rather timely.

I broke down after the nurse checked my cervix for the n-th time and yet nothing has changed. At one point, I was even angry with Redbean for giving me such a hard labour. I cried also because I was in so much pain and discomfort and yet I couldn’t do anything about it.

7pm – After bawling my eyes out and thinking to myself “What did I do to deserve this?”, the nurse came in and asked how I was doing. I was curled up in pain and she could see I was in discomfort. She managed to convince me to take laughing gas which I eventually gave in to hoping it would relieve the pain slightly because it would make me ‘high’. True enough, I was almost addicted to it that Leland had to stop me from using it too excessively.

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I limited myself to 5 puffs each time I felt the contractions coming. It does make the pain slightly less distracted but it doesn’t completely remove it. Tissue in hand to wipe my tears. I felt sorry for myself.

The pain was getting milder with the laughing gas. I gobbled my dinner down so I could get back on bed to continue the use of laughing gas.

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But it eventually came to a point I was immuned to the effects of the laughing gas. The pain became too strong! Leland couldn’t sleep much because I needed him to help me press my back each time a contraction came.

26 Aug, 2+am – Induced a third time with the pill after checking that I was still 2cm dilated. OMG!

3am – Contraction pains came with a bang! They went beyond my threshold and I was literally screaming for pain relief! I cried out so loudly Leland had to hush me and ensure things would be ok.

Leland told me after Redbean was delivered that he felt so helpless at that point, watching me in pain. At that point, I probably didn’t even have the energy to be concern about my husband and I felt lousy after knowing. I felt bad for making him so lost and helpless.

The nurse had to check my cervix to ensure it’s opened enough to take epidural. Thank God I was dilated about 3.5cm then. I immediately raised my hands and pleaded for epidural immediately!

4am – A nurse came in and put me on drip. I don’t even remember what was that drip for but I supposed it was to hasten the dilation.

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The needle was poked into the veins on the back of my palm. It stung and was uncomfortable. It made movements restricted.

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Leland took a photo of me in pain without me knowing. Scrolled through my phone and am glad I have this photo as memory. One, is to remind me how tough childbirth is. Two, is to remind me the timing of this scene so I could blog it down haha.

5am – The anaesthetist for epidural came. Leland had to wait outside during the procedure despite my pleas to let him stay. I grabbed the laughing gas mask with my dear life because I was too scared of needles and my husband couldn’t be with me. Thankfully the whole procedure went pretty fast. The nurses were literally carrying my legs and curling me up to a C-shape for the anaesthetist to do her job. I breathed the laughing gas like it was the only survival kit left. I felt a needle and then a second before my whole body just let go. My hand literally lost grip of the laughing gas mask once the effect kicked in. I couldn’t really feel my lower body from then. I felt a lot of behind-the-scenes happening when the nurses taped me up with tubes here and there. I had absolutely no idea how my back looked like. Soon, I was lying on my back again and I felt relief for the first time in hours.

5+am – After the epidural took effect, another nurse came in to insert a catheter into my pee-hole to allow draining of the urine. I felt nothing. No discomfort at all. Thank the creators of epidural!

7.30am – Dr Goh came in and checked. I was dilated 4cm. She broke my water bag. I felt the pressure of the water being ‘released’ as she inserted the amniotic hook to burst it. Then she told me to get some rest while waiting for my cervix to be fully dilated. I also weren’t allowed food as I would be pushing soon. But honestly, I had no appetite at all.

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Another sneak shot by Leland while I was probably drowsy.

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My contractions at 9am, hitting beyond the graph, but thankfully I was on epidural and I felt nothing.

10am – I was dilated about 6, 7cm. Still slow, but at least it was getting somewhere. I felt very thirsty at this point and asked for water. I even took some apple juice since it was the nearest. Shortly after that few sips of drink, I puked uncontrollably. Merlion style. Leland had to help clean me up as I got some juice on my body.

11am – I was struggling to stay awake so I could be alert when any medical staff came in. But despite my greatest efforts, I just fell back into sleep due to the epidural effects.

1.30pm – Dr Goh came in to check. I wasn’t fully awake when she did. I briefly heard her say “You’re fully dilated already. Baby’s head can be seen. Daddy wanna come see?” Then I groggily saw Leland walk over to the front of my bed and looked down and nodded. “You can start pushing already.” Then I sort of jerked up awake and murmured “Huh? NOW?” Dr Goh chuckled and said “Not now, the staff has to get the things ready first. You rest a bit, conserve your energy, I’ll get them to setup first. You’ll be seeing your baby very soon.”

At that point of time, I was struggling so badly to keep myself awake. But I couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than 10 seconds.

Minutes before the delivery suite was setup, I experienced major shivering. I guessed it was a mixture of cold temperature plus my nervous-ness plus the effects of epidural.

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The midwife came in and asked me to ‘practise’ pushing a few times. With the epidural, I couldn’t feel a single thing, neither would I know how much strength I was exerting in pushing. So everything was based on the midwife’s guidance.

I lost count of the number of times I pushed. But at one point, the midwife suggested using vacuum to get baby out because she could see I had not enough energy to push any further. She then alerted Dr Goh to come in since a vacuum would be involved.

2+pm – After a few more pushes, approximately 30 minutes later, I finally heard Redbean’s cries as he was carried up to me, all bloody and crinkly. The first thing that I blurted out was “Naughty boy” and I teared while he was crying in my arms. Everything else was history.

Redbean was literally screaming his lungs out. Dr Goh even said he has very loud cries.

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The nurse brought him to the side to clean him up and asked Leland to take a few photos such as his weight, his head size, his body length as well as his cute pair of feet.

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My baby is cleaned and ready to be hugged by me again!

All these while when he was being cleaned up, I was being stitched up below for my episiotomy wound. I didn’t even know when Dr Goh made the cut but all I can say epidural saved me from all the pain.

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Redbean, Caleb, my baby. Welcome to our lives! Your arrival is definitely the greatest gift to us! Daddy Mummy love you!

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