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:
The Miracle of Birth
9 June (Friday) – Friday, I’m In Love
I was admitted at KK Hospital on the evening of 8 June (Thursday), just 2 cm dilated, as I mentioned in my previous post. I kept hoping the labor would progress naturally, but until 11 am on 9 June (Friday), I was still only 2 cm dilated. Finally, I decided to be induced so they brought us to the delivery suite.
Three hours after, I was still at 2 cm. When Dr. Lee Jiah Min dropped by and saw the lack of progress, she readjusted the induction pill, warning me that the pain will intensify very soon. Despite the warning, I asked permission to go back to the ward for a few hours because Lia was coming to visit me. She reluctantly gave me permission, reminding me to go back to the delivery suite once the pain becomes unbearable.
Lia and Ate Tess arrived at KK Hospital, and I was able to spend an hour and a half with Lia before the contractions got too intense. Interestingly, it seemed that she missed her Daddy more than Mommy, and wound up playing more with Sidney while I watched them from the hospital bed.
We went back to the delivery suite because the pain was getting unbearable. Unfortunately, I was still only 3 cm dilated. Fortunately, Dr. JM Lee told them to give me the epidural already (instead of waiting until I was 4-5 cm dilated) since I was already exhausted. Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist did not allow Sidney inside the room during the procedure. Fortunately, once I had the epidural, I was fine – I felt no pain and fell promptly asleep.
I was still just 5 cm dilated. There was a monitor attached to my belly to keep track of the baby’s heartbeat, and it was reassuring to hear his quick and steady heartbeat – usually around 140 beats per minute.
However, while I was half asleep at around 8:20 pm, I suddenly realized that the sound of the baby’s heartbeat was slowing down. I woke Sidney up and asked him to double-check on the screen. When he saw the heartbeat was down to 70 beats per minute, he quickly called the nurse. It went slower and slower – down to 40.
The nurse quickly called the resident doctor, who rushed into my room while talking to Dr. Lee on the phone to get her instructions. The nurse then gave me an oxygen mask and injected something on my IV line. They were both very calm and reassuring, but I still started to panic and asked them what was happening. They said either the labor has suddenly progressed, or the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck. It turns out both were true.
At this, I got very, very scared and couldn’t even talk, since the oxygen mask was covering my nose and mouth. I could only look at Sidney, who told me to breathe deeply and not to cry since the baby needs as much oxygen as he can get. He held my hand and prayed for me and the baby, and I calmed down.
I was now 8 cm dilated, up from 5 cm just 30 minutes ago. They started to prepare for delivery, and I had to learn how to push correctly again. The problem was that Dr. JM Lee had another patient in another room also in active labor by then, so for the first part of the pushing, it was just Sidney and the nurse-midwife with me. The other problem was that my lower body was completely paralyzed by then since they topped up my pain meds, so it wasn’t easy to push. I noticed that the nurse would carefully readjust the monitor in my belly, going lower and lower as the labor progressed, to keep track of the baby’s heartbeat at all times.
Dr. JM Lee rushed in, hurriedly putting gloves on. After many more pushes, baby Samuel was finally out at 9:51 pm.
Several days later, Sidney told me that when the baby’s head popped out, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, which the doctor quickly untangled. I asked him why he didn’t tell me during delivery, and he said there was no need for me to know as it might just scare me then. I’m proud of him because I was staring into his eyes the whole time and I never even noticed a change in his facial expression the whole time. And that’s one of the reasons why I love my husband. 🙂
Good thing that baby Samuel cried as soon as he was out, which calmed me instantly. I kept trying to crane my neck to look at the baby, and when Dr. Lee noticed what I was doing, she said, “Let’s let her see her baby.” She held him up to me and I touched him and I immediately fell in love. Strangely though, the first thing I said out loud was “Hi baby, you’re so sticky” because they haven’t cleaned him up yet. My next words to Sidney were, “He looks exactly like Lia!”
Because of the minor complications during the delivery, the pediatric doctor took a bit longer to check on him, before she allowed Sidney to come closer and take photos. They also took a blood sample to make sure there were no issues.
The best part for me was during our first skin-to-skin contact, when they put him on my chest. He immediately showed rooting signs and the nurse told me to try to breastfeed him. He latched quickly with some help, and I was able to breastfeed for 20 minutes. My heart just swelled as I watched him peacefully feeding. During Lia’s first few months, my greatest frustration was that she refused to latch and I wasn’t able to breastfeed her, so I had to pump and give her my breastmilk in a bottle. Even that was never enough so I had to supplement with formula from birth.
I threw up 3 times while breastfeeding (a side effect of the epidural), and I even fell asleep while holding him (out of sheer exhaustion), so the nurses took him and told me to rest.
To read about how I realized in hind sight that all things work together for good, please click here.