This is the story of the birth of our second baby – Samuel Timothy – and how all things really work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28). I went into great detail because I like to reminisce, and this is my way of reminding myself how things went down. You can read about the rest here:
31 May (Wednesday) – It’s All About the Money
We had our regular check up with our gynaecologist, Dr. C, at Gleneagles Hospital. Since I was on my eighth month, she said my check ups will now be weekly (instead of monthly) until I deliver. Each check up is at least SGD250, and we were four weeks away from my estimated due date of 29 June. This means we may have to shell out about SGD1k more in checkups before the baby comes out.
After the check up, the receptionist finally gave us our gynaecologist’s delivery fee, which was a whopping SGD3k. We asked how much would be the total cost if we deliver at Mt. Alvernia – the cheapest hospital Dr. C can deliver at – and they said about SGD10-12k. This was a lot more expensive than the SGD6-8k that I researched as the estimated delivery cost at Mt. Alvernia, which Dr. C said “sounds right” several weeks ago when we first discussed hospitals.
The problem is that we only prepared SGD10k for my delivery.
On our way home, Sidney and I started talking if we should move back to KK Hospital, where I delivered Lia four years ago. Here are the pros and cons –
- KK would be a lot cheaper. Estimated costs would be about SGD5-7k at KK vs SGD10-12k at Mt. Alvernia.
- We were already familiar with KK Hospital since I delivered there before.
- I was already at my 8th month – it seems too late to switch to another gynaecologist who have not seen me or known what I’ve been through for the past 8 months.
- We really like Dr. C. We are very comfortable with her, and she knows my history.
- We were embarrassed. We did the same thing when I was pregnant with Lia – she was my gynaecologist until nearly my 5th month, when I switched to KK after I got admitted for dehydration due to hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive morning sickness) because of financial considerations as well.
We finally agreed to see if I can get an appointment at KK for my next check up before we decide. From experience, it’s not easy to get an appointment at KK – there’s usually a three-week waiting time. If I can’t get an appointment for next Wednesday, we’ll take it as a sign that we should stay with Dr. C.
Surprisingly, I got an appointment for next Wednesday morning at KK Hospital. I had an appointment with Dr. C at Gleneagles for next Wednesday afternoon, which we decided not to cancel yet. If I wasn’t comfortable with the new gynaecologist at KK, we’ll go back to Dr. C and just find a way to deal with the costs.
7 June (Wednesday) – I Like to Move It, Move It
We went to our appointment with Dr. Lee Jiah Min at KK Hospital, and instantly felt comfortable with her. She was very cheery and understanding, and waved off our gratitude for taking us in so late. Before we even left the clinic, we decided to stay with her and cancel my appointment in the afternoon with Dr. C.
During my check up, she told me I was already 1 cm dilated! She said the baby will be out any time now, or latest by next week. I was still working from home then because my maternity leave is supposed to start only on 14 June, which is Sidney’s birthday and two weeks before my expected due date.
8 June (Thursday) – False Alarm
I tried to finish my work in the morning and told my boss that I’m taking the afternoon off because I was starting to feel mild contractions. Late in the afternoon, I took Lia downstairs for “Mommy and Lia time.” We walked together, tried to get ants to climb onto her toy bus, played a slow-mo version of catch (since I couldn’t really run), and ate Pringles and Hello Panda biscuits at the park. When we got home, I fell asleep at our living room and woke up having slightly stronger contractions. I timed them the interval was 15 minutes. I called Sidney and asked him to bring me to KK when he arrives home from work.
I wanted to have baby Samuel that day because:
- It was my sister-in-law Ate Bebeth’s birthday. Lia was born on my brother Diko Rey and Ate Bebeth’s anniversary, so there would be some sort of symmetrical coincidence if Samuel was born on the 8th of June.
- My devotion that morning was on 1 Samuel – the birth of Samuel.
- I was at the point of my pregnancy that I was feeling uncomfortable all the time and could barely sleep at night.
When we got to KK, they said I was still just 1 cm dilated, and they monitored me for an hour. Since there was no progress, they said I could either go home and come back if the contractions occur every 5 minutes, or I could “go upstairs and take a walk.” We misunderstood their meaning, thinking we could just stay in the vicinity and I could go walking until my labor progresses, so we took the second option. We realized too late that it meant getting admitted and walking around in the ward.
Once they showed us into the private ward, I started walking around, jogging in place and even doing squats. I really, really wanted to deliver the baby as soon as possible, since I didn’t want to stay one night longer than required, knowing that it would just push the costs up. Unfortunately, until the next day, I remained 2 cm dilated only. Child birth will happen at 10 cm.
To read the next part of my (long-winded) birth story, please click here.