Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nibbly itty bitty chubs...

Asks every new mom with a new daughter: 
"How is it possible that out of all the little girls in the whole world, we got the best one?"

"Because she is mine!" Answers each one. 

Thank Heavens for little girls.

 Itty...

 Bitty...

 Mynie...

 Moe...

Sweetie petiteie...

My Baby Otter, everyone!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Postdated journal: The derailed birth plan ...

[Note: Motherhood Journal Pt 3]
Read about Pt 1 HERE on Obstetrician and Pt 2 HERE on Pregnancy side effects

Part of me want to share some valuable notes here while another part of me rebel at the idea of parting with some personal information. And then I thought about how I went through this motherhood experience feeling quite unprepared, overwhelmed, and didn't know what to expect, and I thought, it shouldn't really be like that. And I realized I get much moral support from reading blogs written by other new moms. Given, every experience is different, but they're not too far from the grid.

So here goes Part 3.

Upon nearing your due date, one of the first things your obgyn (obstetrician/gynecology) will ask you is: Do you have a birth plan? Honestly, I didn't know I need to have one (let alone know what is one) until my second obgyn asked me about it.

BabyCenter.com actually has a good Birth Plan sheet that you can download, print, fill in and bring to the hospital for their reference. Show it to the midwife or nurse who will arrange your admittance, for their attention, in case they don't know what you've discussed with your obgyn. It's the same one I use, although I ended up not using it at all because my delivery process changed due to some unforeseen circumstances. Thus most ticked points in that sheet became void.

A birth plan is basically your preferences on how you wish your delivery process to happen, with some important decisions that could affect the whole birth experience... like do you want natural or C-section birth? do you want inducement? do you want pain killers? do you want to give birth lying down, standing up, water birth or etc? do you want to be asked first before any major decisions need to be made especially life-threatening ones? who do you want to be in the delivery room with you? Etc... It's just like a guide so both you and baby will have the ultimate experience. Most private hospitals require a Birth Plan. I'm not sure about government hospital though.

A night before the big day... Couple sans baby... 
(see my swollen nose)

For the most part and from the beginning, I was assured that I would have a normal delivery. In fact, both my gynaes were confident that I would undergo a normal delivery. This, based on the monthly progress as per the monthly routine antenatal checkup and based on the growth of the baby, and/or whatever symptoms I was having. In fact, up until the very last few minutes, I was sure I would have a normal delivery.

So then, why didn't I, in the end? The Birth Plan sheet that I printed nicely and put in my hospital bag, well... it didn't make it out of the bag.

This is where I tell you that sometimes, some things will not go as well as you plan out or as accurate as any doctor will tell you. Sometimes your body just sort of has a mind of its own. You just have to go with the flow and trust your instinct, but most importantly, stay calm and trust in God.

Having a bony physique made me a bit resistant to pain. In fact, throughout my term, I was surprised by the energy burst I had on a daily basis which made managing work easier, and outstation duty more bearable. Plus, an amazing appetite.

So what does a contraction feels like, if you ask me? I won't know until now. My husband and I once joked "I'm feeling kinda strong throughout all this. What if I had a contraction and didn't know it?" That would be kind of scary if that happened. 

I went from Week 38 to Week 40 feeling both excited and agitated more and more every day, coupled with that anxious feeling of not really knowing what to expect. That Braxton Hicks? I hope that was what it was. If it was, it felt more like an annoying tiny inconsistent muscle spasm. And for the record, I've never done so much shopping and window shopping than while waiting for the contractions to hit. There was no mall we didn't visit around town, or visited more than once. Hahaha.

Even managed to shop for Christmas tree while waiting...

When I reached Week 41 without even a tiny contraction, we began to panic. Me, mostly. And here's where my doctor repeated the information that private hospital's protocol in which they would allow only 7 days allowance after your due date. According to her, government hospital allows 10 days allowance but that wouldn't really be advisable, depending on the fetal condition.

A week before my due date, the checkup using a scanning machine (kinda like the kind they use to detect and measure tremor) showed that there wasn't any contraction. Further inspection using the "stretch and sweep" method showed the cervix was fully closed, and the baby's position -- although already head down gearing up for delivery since week 30 -- the head did not engage well at the opening of the cervix. And this, because her size was quite big.

And then I thought about all those maternal milk I drank, the cans of coke I consumed, the amount of really awesome calories I've piled up on since getting pregnant... and I went "I did that. I fed this baby too much! It was my fault she grew big in there..." It was kinda funny, but at the same time worrying. That talk about pregnant women eating for two? Well it should not be taken literally. Something to note should I have that chance to get pregnant again later on.

The scanning machine used to check signs of contraction and detect fetal's heartbeat...

There were a few factors that in the end, decided the method of delivery, all from a medical point of view and after checking my condition on a weekly basis and up till the date of birth:

1. The size of the baby...
2. Which caused the baby's head to not engage well at the birth canal ...
3. Which caused the cervix to continue to close and not ready, even though it had begun to thin out...
4. Which caused there to be no contraction at all because the body isn't ready...
5. Which resulted in the baby being overdue because she wasn't primed up for birth...
6. Which would make attempt to induce labor having a high failure rate and might result in emergency operation (which will affect fetal condition, and of course ... cost)
7. Also because there was one cord wound around the neck. Even though this was informed much earlier in the early trimester, the doctor assured us it was normal and not a cause for concern, although it is something to be taken into consideration...
8. Which, in any case, we were advised not to wait any longer but to decide and to decide quickly...
9. All things considered, the doctor advised that we either go for inducement or go straightaway for operation, in which case there won't be any more waiting...
10. And thus, after a few moments of weighing all possibilities and talking to my family, we opted for scheduled operation.

What was soothing was when I texted my sister about the whole thing, she replied that having an operation was okay too because she went through the same experience and things turned out well (a fact that if I had known about earlier, I would've been less scared). Having someone you know go through the experience acted as a moral support that does help, see?

Okay then I'm gonna stop here because it's already getting too boring and wordy. My point is, I was kind of disappointed I did not have a normal delivery, but in the end it all worked out for good. I actually had a day and a night to mentally prepare myself for the ultimate life-changing moment.

And you know what else is awesome? Hearing the first cry of my baby right after she came out of me was the best moment ever. Thus history was written that on the 16 Dec 2014, I was no longer the same person that was wheeled into the operation theater ... I came out a mother.

Tadaaa!! Meet little Carissa Dhea...

It is true the saying that goes "You don't know unconditional love until you've had a child." Falling in love is magical, getting married to your true love is stuffs of fairy tale, but giving birth to a baby... that is the ultimate life altering experience.

Post Note: Thanks for reading! More on Motherhood Journal coming up!