Asher-fresh out of the oven
Hello! The two weeks absence probably indicate to you that we have welcomed our little bundle of joy into our lives. He arrived on the Wednesday 24th of July- a day before his due date. I’m a little biased but I do think he is very adorable.
It started in the morning of Tuesday the 23rd of July (you might noticed that was the last posting date as well!). I experienced a little spotting and mild cramping- nothing to worry about, but I rang the hospital anyway. I was scheduled to see my obstetrician at mid day so they advised that i keep to that appointment instead of going into the hospital for a check. Doc said my body is getting ready for labour and it could happen anytime now.
After the appointment, hubby and I took my mum out for lunch, and even headed to down to do some shopping. Mum wanted more herbs to prepare herbal soups for me and I willingly obliged. I recall asking my mum to slow down as I could feel the cramps, and she laughed saying that for a heavily pregnant woman, i was already walking fast.
Asher 3 days young
The rest of the evening was uneventful. I helped mum prepare dinner and as a family, we sat down for a meal. For some reason, by 9:30pm, the rest of my family decided to head to bed. Hubby and I sat in our living room and decided to watch some television. He joked that perhaps he should start timing my “cramps” just for a trial run. By 10pm, I said, probably a good idea to time the cramps. That was a good move, because by 11pm, those “cramps” were getting stronger. Perhaps I was in denial because I still did not think those were contractions. That continued till hubby informed me they were around 3-4 minutes apart with some being 2 minutes apart. We called the hospital who informed us that it would be good if we could stay at home, but they will be ready for us whenever we want to come in. I managed to wait till it was 1am, when the contractions were steadily increasingly in frequency and intensity and decided to take the drive to the hospital. Speaking of which, no one in my family knew we were in hospital till the next day.
Now, during this whole period of time, hubby tried his best to offer me massages, TENS machine, hot shower but all I wanted was to bend down at the peak of the contractions, and throw up. You know those back rub videos that you may see for women at labour? Well, I didn’t want any of those! I just wanted to hold his hand or his clothes to get through that pain.
At the hospital, I was quickly wheeled to the delivery suite when the nurses at the Emergency rooms learned that my contractions were only 3 mins apart and growing in intensity. They said usually women are there when it is 10 mins, not 4 mins! I got changed and was hooked up to a machine to check the contractions and heart rate. An internal (which even that I needed gas for!) revealed I was 4-5cm dilated already. She said, I am definitely not going home now. Well, all the walking in the afternoon probably worked!
I opted for epidural and had one done quite quickly and painlessly by 3am. Gas just didn’t seem to be effective and I did not want pethidine. The midwife informed me that I was lucky that one of the best anaesthetist was on duty that day. Phew- someone with a steady hand I hope! God is good though, and Dr Alan put me at ease immediately.
One thing I noted was epidural made me shiver like crazy! Soon after, I was able to rest and napped till morning. A new mid wife greeted me at 7am and said I will see my baby today. Helene was her name. Soon after at around 9am, I was throwing up again. She thought that could indicate I was in transition. A quick check and it revealed I was 8 cm dilated.
My doc arrived at 10:30am and broke my waters. Things seem to happen quite quickly after that and I recall Helene told me I was fully dilated by 11:30 and ready to push. My epidural was also wearing off, but I was informed it would be better for me not to top it up at that time. I agreed. The pushing was probably the most tiring bit- I felt that I was pushing none stop through that time. Helene and hubby guided me, encouraging me, giving me cold towels and sips of water. I vaguely remembered other midwives trying to call my doctor but nobody could contact him for a while.
By 12:30, I was exhausted. My doctor finally arrived. I recall him seeing me push and told me that I was so close. Later, hubby informed me that bub’s head was nearly crowning but for some reason, the last few pushes did not seem to progress. Doc came to me and said “Daphne, remember what we discussed about using a little suction cup, I’m going to help you with that”. So I had a little cut, the vacuum was applied and I pushed. Asher was born just before 1pm. His screams could be heard nearly immediately and the doctor and midwife laughed and said we have a feisty one in our hands.
He was placed on me and all I could think of is that “Oh my, he has a head full of hair and is chubbier than what I thought!”. At 3.35 kg or 7.6 pounds, 49 cm long, he is sturdy.
Unfortunately, despite my doctor’s best intentions, Asher’s head bear down in his hurry to greet us. The doctor tried his best to patch me back, but eventually I was told that I needed to “head down to a room with better lights so that he could stitch me up properly as I have 3rd degree tears”. Which was translated to I needed surgery. Before I knew it, I was in theatre with a heavy dose of epidural and being stitched up. I managed to avoid the catheter throughout the labour process and now I needed one for surgery! Hubby stayed with Asher in our room.
I returned back to the maternity ward at 2:30pm. All I wanted was to carry my little baby boy in my arms.
While the recovery from a 3rd degree tear wasn’t pleasant. I was pleased that at least I managed a delivery without any inducement drugs (since it is quite common to have it with epidural). I had a fabulous midwife- Helene who kept my spirits up and a doctor who came to me afterwards and said “you did what most would say is one of the hardest thing a woman has done- you should be proud of yourself” No doubt he probably said it to most women who delivered, but it certainly made me feel better about the process.
I have nothing by admiration for hubby. He witnessed the whole birth and was not scarred by the process (so he told me). He cuddled and looked after Asher by himself when I was in theatre. This is the man who made babies cry at supermarkets and dared not hold a new born infant. Now at home, I can say he changed diapers quicker than myself and could soothe Asher whenever it was needed. He hugged me and said he is very proud of me and our newborn. When I couldn’t get out of bed fast enough (due to the tears), he carried bub to me.
After the birth, we had to stay in the hospital for 6 days due to my “battle wounds” as doc puts it and Asher’s jaundice. While I was well looked after at the hospital, nothing beats being at home!!!
Glancing at our peacefully sleeping newborn (although at 3am in the morning, he wasn’t as peaceful!!) now, life will never be the same again. Yet somehow, we have a sense of pride that our little miracle has arrived. The miracle that we were told we will never going to have. He is testament to faith and love. Parenthood has started with its challenges already but we rather have that than not to experience it.
Asher’s name means blessed and happy. It is from the old testament of the Bible where Asher is the 8th son of Jacob.
While I am still waddling, and managing the best I can with my wounds- with prayers that there will be no long term damage, I’m taking motherhood all in.
I’m in confinement now but will definitely be posting during this period of time whenever I can!