I got an inkling that the baby may be due soon in the afternoon. As I was waiting for my routine check with the ob-gyn I felt some hardening sensation in my tummy that goes rather regularly. It didn’t hurt but definitely out of the ordinary. So I asked the nurse and she said that that is one of the sign that the baby is preparing for his/her arrival but as it doesn’t occur rapidly she told me not to worry and wait for the doctor to check it.
Now, you might wonder since this is my second child why I don’t know what was going on down there. Well yes, I really didn’t have a clue. This is because when Laras’ water broke I hadn’t felt anything yet. I went straight to the hospital, plugged into iv drip to induce the birth, bing hey go, couple hours later out came Laras kicking and screaming.
So all these sensation were new and worrying but since it is not the painful contraction, I knew that the baby was not going to pop in the waiting area. I tried to relax while waiting my turn – too bad Iwan wasn’t with me otherwise I could play games in his pda – instead I just blankly look at the tv not really watching anything, I didn’t feel like reading either, I was too anxious to see the dr. With a sigh of relief my number is finally up. I told my ob-gyn everything, she smiles and told me to sit on the examining chair instead of the bed as usual. Well, there’s an opening of 2, almost 3. As this is my second child, she ponders whether I should check into the hospital now or later. She wants a CTG done before she makes a decision. So off I go to another room to get a CTG check. This is to measure the heart rate of the baby, the frequency and intensity of the contraction. After about an half an hour the CTG is done and back to the waiting room to wait for the dr’s verdict. And I am sent back home, told to take lots of walks and come back to the hospital when the contraction becomes more frequent.
After a flurry of sms with Iwan, it was decided that Laras would stay with my mom just in case it happens tonight. We packed all the necessary stuff, load it to the car, drop Laras off and… went to the mall! Well, where else can you find space large enough to walk about comfortably at night? I certainly wasn’t going to the national stadium and start doing laps there like an olympic champion wannabe. So we wander and we had dinner, my last eating out for the time being. We had sushi and ordered my faves like tamago, crispy unagi, california roll, etc. I could’ve got the salmon skin as well but didn’t spot it until we already ordered. Oh well, next time.
Later that night I started feeling some contractions, so off we go to the hospital with all our stuff straight to the delivery room. Whadayaknow… False Alarm! Drat!
It was too late to come knocking on my mom’s door so we lumped back to the apt. It felt weird having the apt to ourselves. That little dollop of a girl makes such a difference. We immediately fell asleep hoping tomorrow would be the day we get to see our new baby.
Iwan drop me at my mom’s before work with a message to call him if anything happens. Don’t worry sweetheart of course I will. Won’t let you miss out on the excitement.
I had an 11 o’clock appointment with my sister’s younger brother in law, Ichwan Thoha, a fashion designer. I moved the app earlier to 10 just in case the baby decided it’s time to make an appearance. Off I went to his atelier. Ichwan is pretty famous over here. He recently went solo after he broke up with his design partner of ten odd years or so, creative differences etc. It’s too bad because the label, Urban Crew, was a pretty solid brand but anyway. So he’s now going under his own name and is taking individual orders from mere mortal like me. Although his clothes are for the hip and young crowd – so not for mommy me 😉 – he likes the challenge (I think) and I like his fresh ideas. After almost 3 years of wearing the same clothes day in day out I am ready to wear something new and different. So we got talking, he sketched some design, I pick the ones I liked and he tweaked it until we get something I like. I had so much fun talking about fashion -it really it very different talking to an expert and an insider- and some general gossiping that I didn’t realise that it was already lunchtime! No wonder my tummy was rumbling – of the hungry kind.
Near Ichwan’s place there’s a small eatery that sells a special gado-gado, or salad with nut sauce in this particular place, the nut used is cashew nut which gives the sauce a sweeter yummy taste. Of course I have to have it for lunch. Order some to go then went back home to anxious mom. She thought I’ve been to the hospital whereas I’ve been at Ichwan the whole time. Husband also took off from work early. I guess he too was too excited to stay working.
Spent the rest of the afternoon at my moms. Taking nap, walking about, playing computer games, felt no changes at all. After dinner, we decided to went back home since it became obvious the baby is not gonna come out soon. I was feeling a bit cross with the baby. I was tired of lugging around the extra weight and wanted the pregnancy to be over soon. But then I remember one of my neighbour once said, “The baby will come out when it is good and ready and not a moment sooner,” Well I guess this baby is not ready to leave the womb just yet.
There must be an unwritten law somewhere that stated that grandmas and aunties are more panicky than the mother-to-be about when the baby is due. I just woke up, had breakfast and was discussing with Iwan (my husband, not the designer) that we better go to the hospital this morning to check when the phones started ringing. First it was my mom. Then it was my sister. Then it was my mom again. I was feeling quite annoyed by then. As much as I am grateful for their love and attention, having had a child, attended 2 sets of prenatal classes, subscribing to parenting magazines and reading baby books including the classic dr. Spock’s I am well aware about the dangers of the baby receiving less oxygen, of the water turning bad etc etc etc without having to hear it every three seconds from well meaning women of my world.
After everyone has eaten and showered, off we go again. Laras and her nanny at my mom’s, me and Iwan to the hospital. This time around some good news. The opening is now definitely 3 and now I better stay for observation. So we book a room, wander around for a bit, then have a bit of rest before the next check-up. Around noon, we went back to the delivery room. The nurse had ordered lunch and told me to have lunch first. Iwan’s phone been ringing with people sms-ing wanting to know, “Is the baby out yet?”
The contraction had not been as regular as the midwife would like, nor it is painful. However since there’s an improvement in the opening, around 5, it is decided that I stay in the delivery room, just in case. I got changed to a robe and got prepped. We move from the observation room to the actual delivery room and waited. The waiting seems so long I even had time to ask the midwife what would happen if the baby wants to come out and my dr hadn’t come, would I have to wait for the dr or could the midwife handled it because I have heard horror stories of mothers forced to wait for their ob-gyn with disastrous results. She smiled and reassures me that if that happens, I do not have to wait for my dr. They would simply ask one of the ob-gyn on duty to attend to me. Reassured, I continue waiting.
Around 6pm, the contraction finally getting more frequent and rather painful when it happened. I practiced the breathing technique and prepare myself for what’s in store. The opening is about 6-7 at this point. One of my sister in law drops by after work. It was such a nice surprise and seeing that i’m already in the delivery room, she decided to wait for the baby. My dr arrived around 7.30pm. She checked my condition and in a true you-learn-something-new-everyday, I learned that the two sides of the birth canal didn’t automatically softened together, one side is softer (ready for delivery) while the other was still hard. Because the opening was quite large, the dr decided to induce to make sure the birth canal are ready for delivery this is because there’s a risk of internal bleeding if one side of the canal is still hard while the baby is pushing to get out. My ob-gyn predicted that it would be another hour before the baby is out.
The induction is via an IV drip and this is when things get real fun. It is where the action is! If before I can take a breather after each contraction, now, as I can feel the drugs flowing, it is really kickin’. I can barely rest before it starts again. Not much I can do but dig my nails deeper into Iwan’s hand cuz screaming alone doesn’t help. I was at the point of wanting drugs when the midwife said, “Oh but you’re almost there! If we drug you now, it’s just gonna drag even longer!” I was like well sweetheart, you’re not the one in pain here!!! As my scream and yells get rapidly louder, my ob-gyn finally utters the golden sentence, “OK, we can start pushing now!”
Immediately the midwife burst into action, removing the bottom part of the bed changing it into stirrups and push the equipment cart closer to the dr. I can see my dr preparing a needle and I knew I’m going to be cut again to make way for the ducks, err I mean the baby, oh well. Then flurry of instructions, ok deep breath, look down, don’t close your eyes, hold your breath and PUSH! Ok… don’t kick your legs away, hold them closer, (It took me a second to realise that hard thing down there is the baby’s skull. Once I get that, I felt an instant boost of energy) let’s try again… deep breath, no no.. don’t close your eyes, look down, hold the leg hold the leg aaaand PUSH!!Yes! yes! ok stop pushing… (then I felt that surge of warm fluid flowing out and a big relief)ah.. here’s your baby, it’s a boy!
Just like the dr predicted, the baby arrived at 8.58pm or almost exactly an hour after induction. And just like Laras’ I managed the birth without any anaesthetic except for the lidocaine for the episiotomy and that’s just local. Though I felt every single pain, every single stitch (oh yes, the pain doesn’t stop just because the baby’s out, you just felt very relaxed as you wince while being sewn) the upside is that the recovery is very fast, faster than the first one. I was able to walk to the loo a couple hours afterwards and I stayed 2 days instead of 3. I was home on Sunday instead of Monday. And my parents finally have a another grandson, 17 years after the first one and 5 granddaughters making it a total of 7 grandchildren.