Saturday, 29 December 2007

Pictures

As promised, below are some of the pictures that I had taken of Hotdog! Not too many, I know but should give you a good idea how our precious looks like.

All the pictures are taken during the actual labour and the first day of hospital stay.

In case you are wondering, we are down to about 50-50 as to who Hotdog looks like. About one third of our family, friends and relatives say that Hotdog looks like the Mrs while the 33% find that he resembles me. The remaining one third simply do not know how to tell. Usually I fall in this last third. I can never tell unless it is really close to identical.

Anyway without further a due, I present to you our Baby:




Lucky for me, people warned me before that babies are born bluish otherwise I will have the shock of my life.


Hotdog cried for the first time!


This was actually an re-enactment because I was busy snapping away on other things so I asked the nurse to hand him upside down again for me. Evil right?!?! In case you are wondering, the nurse was taking his length measurement.


Baby is clothed for the first time but it's from the hospital and not us.


Whenever I see Baby wrapped like this I always comment that he looks like a worm. Ha Ha Ha!


People around us commented that Baby looks very matured in this picture. He looks like he is 2 months and not 2 days old.


Lastly, his name is Isaac Tan.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Hotdog!!!

Yesterday, Boxing Day was a really busy and stressful day for me!

We started off the day going for our scheduled appointment at Dr N’s clinic. The Mrs was supposed to go in for her routine CTG as well as discuss with Dr N on our proposed induced delivery. We have more or less decided on 1st Jan 2008.

The CTG was same-o same-o but after that we had to wait like 2.5 hours before we get to see Dr N!! The Mrs was losing her patience.

Anyway the CTG showed that the Mrs was having contractions (surges) every 20 minutes or so and Dr N proceeded to perform the Vaginal Examination for her. It was rather uncomfortable for the Mrs and guess what?!?! Dr N was surprised to learn that she was already 4cm dilated and best part was the Mrs had yet to feel anything!

Since we were going to induce the labour anyway, Dr N instructed us to go to the Delivery Suite to start the antibiotic so that he can rupture the membrane after about 4 hours!!

This was it ladies and gentlemen!!

We went for lunch as it was already 1 plus and she will be on the drip for the antibiotic so will not be mobile.

We officially checked in by about 2pm and she was on the drip by 2.30pm.

The next few hours went by uneventfully and the Mrs was “complaining” that she was not feeling anything. She was worried that we have checked in too early when she could possibly wait for another day or two. The nurse assured her that contractions were going on and that she should be thankful that she is not feeling much.



Since she was still feeling good and mobile we decided that that was the best time for me to leave her and go home to bring our stuffs.

I am disappointed to say that we were not very organized in this department because I had to repack since I will be staying over and none of my stuffs were in yet. Thankfully I travel on and off so last minute packing is not really a challenge. Although I have to admit that I forgot to bring out Stemcord kit with me. The hospital needed to use the items from the kit so they loan us a spare unit that they have in stock on the condition that I will bring mine to return them.

The rest of the day was a matter of just waiting and riding the mild surges. We were getting impatient as well as we (actually more like me) were hoping to have Baby out before midnight so he / she will be a Boxing Day Baby!

Finally at 8.30pm Dr N came to do another VE (5cm dilated) and then proceeded to rupture the membrane. I was watching and saw the instrument that he used looked like a giant toothpick. It took him 3 attempts before I finally saw the “show”. This has proved to be really uncomfortable for the Mrs and I believe that this was the straw that broke her will to go without epidural.

She was worried that if 2 fingers were already this painful, imagine Baby’s head coming out from the same area!!?!

The Mrs wanted me to inform all of you that it felt very strange to have the water bag broken while sitting on the bed because it made her feel as if she was peeing while in bed. Since the water was not exactly gushing out this sensation went on for quite a while.

Oh, from this exercise, we also found out that the Mrs is a little sensitive towards the Obstetric Care Lotion (white cream) that the hospital uses. In case you ladies were to feel any itchiness after your Gynae perform VE or similar procedure then you should let the nurses know that it is probably due to the cream. It seems there are a handful of women who are sensitive to it. So they switched to KY Jelly for the Mrs.

The instruction from Dr N was to put the Mrs on this drip (did not get the medical term) that will stimulate more intense and consistent surges and the nurse had to increase it every half hour. But before they administered that they had to check with the Mrs if she would like to have epidural as an induction like this may make the surges much more intense and jump the pain meter.

After consulting for a few minutes, the Mrs decided that it is best for her to use it. She had my backing and support of course.

The epidural was only administered at about 10.20pm as we had to wait for the Doctor to come from his home (I’m guessing). By that time I was resigned to having Baby delivered only after midnight. I mean what are the odds of her achieving full dilation with that short period of time right? The general rule of the thumb is 1cm per hour after one has achieved consistent surges. I was prepared to be there for a long night.

While waiting for her full dilation, we came up with a method to help her ride the waves of surges better. It was quite simple really. All I had to do was monitor the machine that showed the level of surges and will warn her whenever it was going up and she will use her HypnoBirthing breathing method. It worked rather well.


However someone failed to mention to me that once the epidural was administered, the rule book can be thrown out of the window! It seems the epidural actually relaxes the muscles so much that dilation can come a lot faster for some women and the Mrs falls in this category. By about 10.50pm, she was fully dilated.



How we knew was the Mrs’s constant complaint that she felt as if she needed to go for a number 2. This prompted the nurse to do another VE and that was when we found out she was ready.

Both Dr N and Dr K (our paediatrician) came in at about 11.40pm and I was sure that we will miss the date. I honestly do not know why I am so obsessed with Boxing Day Baby.

From here on I have to say that the Mrs did an excellent job and I am so proud of her. Baby was out at 11.54pm (barely made it before midnight) after about 6 – 8 pushes. I am also proud to say that I watched the entire crowning to the final delivery. I even witnessed the episiotomy, removing of the placenta and the stitching.

I bet from the title of this post you would have already guessed that Baby is a boy. So the minority of you guessed it right!!

I will be posting pictures of Baby and also announce his name in due time. As for now I only want to enjoy the company of my SON!!!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Engaged!!

We were at Dr N’s clinic last week when he announced that Baby is actually engaged!!!! What this means is that Baby’s head is mostly lowered and not in the abdomen anymore. Looks like this is really it!!!

He had actually predicted about a month ago that Baby will be out by 28th or 29th of this month so that gave us some emotional preparation. If not can you imagine our shock and surprise when we learn that Baby will be out next week??!!

This is almost 10 days before the EDD!! So much for a 2008 baby and away from all the competitions from all the other babies that are around us. I had posted (see Joe) that I prefer Baby to be born next year since there are at least 4 babies that we know, 2 of whom are family, that are born this year. I rather not have the pressure of these parents comparing notes and results throughout Baby’s life.

During one of the recent visits the Mrs was made to go through a Strep B test and unfortunately the result came back positive.

I’m not familiar with this but according to the Internet and Dr N, it has the potential to really cause some serious harm to Baby. Naturally Dr N is not prepared to take any risk with Baby hence he has ordered the Mrs to go for a CTG test every 3 days or so. This is to monitor Baby and at the same time help determine when we should induce the labour.

The reason he gave for the induction was he wanted to make sure that Baby has absorbed the necessary antibiotics before going through the vagina and the only way to do this is to inject the antibiotics into the Mrs 4 hours before rupturing the membrane. Unless the water bag bursts on its own within these next few days, it looks like we have to sit down and seriously think of Baby’s birth date.

So much for a drug free birth huh?!

Good thing is our priority has always been the health of the Mrs and Baby. This will take precedence over any preference, theory or ideology. Like I said before the things we take away from the HypnoBirthing class will be something that we can apply to our daily lives so it is not a waste as such.

We are scheduled to go back for another CTG test on Boxing Day and I believe we will have to provide Dr N with a date that we would like to have the labour. I am blogging now at Paragon Starbucks on Sunday, 23rd December and we are no closer to coming up with a birth date.

On the hindsight by inducing the labour, we are in better control of things, logistic wise. We do not have to worry about being out shopping and then have to face the bursting of the water bag. By scheduling the labour, I can also bring everything such as the stem cord kit.

Come to think of it, since so many people are on leave this time of the year, maybe I can invite them all down for moral support!! They can wait outside the delivery suite and pray and cheer for the Mrs. I think I might just extend the invitation to a few friends and families. Readers are included so if you are having your routine checkup at Mt E over the next few days, then maybe you too would like to consider popping by!

Now that we are thinking about the actual labour, the Mrs has also started to plan about methods of pain prevention just in case. We have already stated in our birth plan that we know of the various pain relief so we will request for it should and when the time comes.

A friend, J gave us an excellent idea. She is a mother of 2 with the youngest, Megan (nice name right?) born earlier this year. J told the Mrs that when she was having her surges (contractions) she actually asked the midwife on a scale of 1 – 10 when compared to the pain during actual delivery, which level would she be at that particular time. The midwife said 4 and she knew instantly that she required the epidural.

I believe the Mrs will use the same method to gauge if she requires the same pain relief. Unless of course by inducing the labour things will happen much quicker and she has to make a decision before even we begin.

So there you have it! Baby should be seeing the world real soon and I have decided to stay over in the hospital and will keep you all posted through this blog. We learned that the rooms are wi-fi enabled and tentatively it is still free of charge. So be prepared to see a few pictures of Baby real soon.

Do stay tune and in the meantime suggestions on the birth date anyone?

Merry Christmas to you all and may you have a wonderful year ahead!

Happy Birthing!

Monday, 17 December 2007

Deprived!

I asked the Mrs recently and she confirmed that this last stretch of the pregnancy is the hardest for her. It definitely beats the earlier whole day sickness, throwing up as well as fatigue. If she was to decide whether or not to have more kids based on how she is feeling now, I am positive Baby will be a rather lonely child with no siblings.

The reason for this "torturous" time is her sleep deprivation. The Mrs has not had a good night rest for the last 3 weeks already and she had not laid flat on the bed whether facing up or to her sides for the same period of time too. She has been “sleeping” while sitting up at a 20 to 30 degree angle all this while and very rarely she gets to sleep for a few hours straight without feeling any pain or discomfort.

For most parts, she will switch from position to position which each supplying her with only about 10 – 15 minutes of relief. Before we know it the discomfort kicks in and she had to move the pillows around again. There are currently 4 regular pillows, a small kids pillow, a bolster, a sofa cushion and a body pillow on our bed. All of them are at her disposal to try and build that comfortable “nest” to sleep through the night. She will usually ultilise most of them except for this one occasion when she only needed 2 or 3 of them and she chucked all the remaining ones to me. Funny thing was she must have been so tired that she forgot she had rejected them the night before and she “accused” me of taking away all her pillows the next morning. I had to refresh her memory and told her I had a hard time keeping the pillows with me so that they will not disrupt her sleep and at the same time not dropped any of them on the floor for Ah No. (You see, Ah No sleeps under our bed and is ever ready to pounce on any excess pillows his Master and Mistress are kind enough to “share”)

On the few occasions that the Mrs can sleep for a few hours peacefully, she had to wake up in the middle of the night to empty her bladder. So with the combination of these discomforts and late night toilet visits, she is really having a hard time now.

The fact that she cannot take her maternity leave earlier due to shortage of staff does not help too. Last night was one of the extremely rare nights that she could sleep from about 1am straight to 6am before waking up for her toilet routine. By the time I wake up at 7 she was still sound asleep. I thought to myself if only she can continue sleeping but alas she had to wake up and go to work. While driving to work I told her that I am beginning to understand why there are some MTB who started their maternity leave 2 weeks before the EDD. They probably experienced the same problem but were lucky enough to exercise their maternity leave in order to gain some rest prior to giving birth.

Her lack of sleep got so bad that whenever she dozed off in the afternoon or at night, I had to be very careful and remove all phones from the room. I had to get up and really gently for fear of waking her up. When Ah No follows me out of the room which he usually does cause he is rather busybody, he will be kept outside in case he makes any noise with his wagging tail and wakes the Mrs up. I also learned that it is best to leave everything else such as lights and TV volume as they are since any sudden change will result in waking her.

Although I am not feeling the discomfort and pain, I am not having an easy time too. Most of it is down to me feeling helpless and guilty. Helpless because seeing the Mrs suffered so much and yet there is nothing I can do. I can only help her up and adjust the pillows around for her. The only other thing I can do is to try and stay up with her whenever she cannot sleep but this has also proven to be rather hard. As much as I would like to stay up and accompany her, I always end up falling asleep hence the guilt.

I know all these sleepless nights are taking a toll on the Mrs because I woke up in the middle of the night once only to find the Mrs sobbing away uncontrollably. This was largely due to the fact that she had not slept at all the night before and was having the same problem that night. She was so tired and sleepy but she just could not sleep. Seeing her like that really breaks my heart. I wish I can bear some of the “sufferings” for her.

Last night the Mrs was talking to Baby and she said that it may not be a bad idea for him / her to come out earlier. I think the Mrs does not want to consider having to hang on till the EDD which is at 9th January.

Well, if Dr N’s calculation is anything to go by then we may not have to wait that long for his prediction is Baby will be out before the end of the year. He told us to get ready for the 28th or 29th of this month and in case you're wondering he is not going away for the New Year.
I don’t know why but I keep thinking it will be Boxing Day but whether it's 26th, 28th or 29th, they are all next week!!!!

Speaking of Dr N, we went to see him last Wed and he sent the Mrs to do the CTG to check on Baby's heartbeat and I had recorded the sound from the machine and also the picture of the Mrs’s tummy which has grown by the way. She was gained about 2 Kg since I lasted posted pictures of her tummy.


video





We are due to see Dr N again this Wed, the 19th. Maybe he will have a better indication / prediction on the due date.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Ready?

I remembered one day not too long ago, the Mrs asked me what made me felt ready to want a child and take on parenthood. Was it due to the pressure from her since she was more keen initially and that was partly due to her biological clock ticking away.

Well the truth is I have always known I wanted children. I have always liked kids and I hope I can have children of both gender as the parenting are quite different. But I have never given myself a deadline to start planning for a child. Maybe emotionally I was not ready.
For me personally, I do not believe there is ever really a good time that I will feel absolutely ready to take on parenthood. In my twenties I was just beginning to have fun as I was making my own money for the first time plus I do not think we are financially stable enough yet. The forties may bring financial security but I do not think I will have the energy to handle a new born or toddler. Let’s not even go to the fifties because I told the Mrs if we are not successful by the time we hit late thirties we will either adopt or give up the idea altogether. I do not think I will try in my forties let alone the fifties.

So that brings us to my thirties. I feel that this is as ready as I can be. No doubt I am still having fun, in fact more fun than my twenties as I can afford better and nicer toys, but I feel we are more mature and financially stable enough to take on Baby and whatever else he/she can throw at us. Despite the love handles I would still like to think that I have enough energy to take care of Baby. Actually any Daddies out there who managed to lose their tummy from taking care of babies? This will be the best time to share your secret or regime.

Seriously what really triggered it off for me was an incident years ago when the Mrs fell off the chair while we were having dinner at home. These Ikea chairs can give way without warning or signs. Just last week, another Ikea chair gave way while a friend was sitting on it. Luckily he did not hurt himself. Hmmmm….. maybe I should ban the Mrs from sitting on them from now on. Anyway back to the incident. So the chair gave way and she landed on the floor and it gave us a big fright because the Mrs’s menstruation was rather late at that time and we were thinking to ourselves that maybe, just maybe she was pregnant and then this thing happened. I remembered I felt really awful and really wished for Baby (thinking that in case he/she was in there) to be alright. I don’t know why but after that incident I felt that maybe it is time to start a family.

Fast forward to today when I am only about a month away from holding my child in my hands, I still feel that I can never be 100% ready. Besides the lack of sleep and lots of crying (both from Baby and me) I really do not know what to expect. I guess I did not want to prepare myself too much. I would like to take things easy and handle it as it comes as it seems more 'fun' this way.

Friends around me are asking if I am excited and prepared. Honest to God, I am excited and a little anxious and nervous at the same time. Part of me wants Baby to be out now so I can start this incredible journey of Fatherhood and yet there is a small part that says “Wait a minute, hold on. Have I got everything ready? Am I truly prepared?”

Take for example the bag that we are supposed to bring along when the Mrs is in labour. Until this week I keep thinking that it is not ready hence should Baby be due I will be at a total lost. I kept bugging the Mrs to show me that we have everything covered. Now that she has I feel that bit more ready.

Not sure if any of you watched the Walt Disney’s movie, The Game Plan but that to me was very interesting. If Baby is indeed a girl I knew it when I watched the movie then I think I will relate to it even more. Given, the girl in the show that came into Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s life is no baby but she might as well have been since he is just as clueless. Watching the show made me think of the sacrifices that I have to make as a father. Now with a certain budget to buy my Xbox 360 games and HD DVDs I can utilise it all on my own but soon I will have to split that with Baby. So instead of what I did recently like ordering the Heroes and Ultimate Matrix collection box set (both in HD) from Amazon, I will have cut down and budget some purchases for Baby too.

Time is another sacrifice that I am preparing myself to make. Instead of spending an afternoon on playing my latest Xbox 360 game, Assassin's Creed, it will be interrupted with tending to Baby’s every need. Later on I may have to resort to buying and playing kid’s games such as SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom!

So if you ask me if I am ready? My answer will still be I am as ready as I can be.