Baby Avalyn arrived on 17 May 17!
Back on 2 May, Gynae gave me a strep B test and checked on my dilation. To my surprise, I was already 1cm dilated at 34 weeks 1 days. While Gynae told me that I might deliver earlier, I looked up online and read that 1cm dilation doesn't mean much. My body was just getting ready.
I was called back for another appointment on 9 May to check on my dilation and was 3cm dilated and water bag seemed to be breaking soon at 35 weeks 1 day. Gynae was worried that baby might come out earlier (preterm) so he ordered for injections to strengthen baby's lungs on the day itself. I went for the 2nd jab on 10 May. It got us worried and I quickly asked for friends to pray for us and settle some work in case I deliver earlier.
Yay, Baby got the memo and baked in longer! Meantime, I was given MC to rest at home. On 15 May check up, I was 4cm dilated at 36 weeks. Gynae said that I had the injections and baby is about 2.4 - 2.5kg so it should be safe if she decided to come out earlier.
As labour usually move faster for 2nd labour and it didn't take too long (5 hours) for the first time, he was worried that things might happen too fast once active labour starts. He even shown me the home birth by SCDF officer article. He asked if I wanted to induce delivery. We were undecided but went ahead to schedule one on 17 May 17 and prayed about it for the whole day.
I had contractions on and off since 13 May but they weren't painful or regular. But, they still got me on my toes. I fear that I might not even realise if I got dilated further. I eventually decided not to risk any emergency and went ahead for the delivery on 17 May.
The Delivery Day
Like every other weekdays, we sent Emma to school but told her that Avalyn is coming out that day and I will be staying in the hospital. She seemed to understand and looked forward to it.
I started the day feeling very hungry and had Macdonalds breakfast before heading to the delivery suite. We "checked in" to the delivery suite at 9am and settle some paper work. After getting changed to delivery gown, hooked up to the contraction monitoring machine and drawing of blood for cord blood donation, the wait began.
The real act started only when nurse told us that my gynae had asked to break my water bag. I was still 4cm dilated when the water bag burst at 11.30am. Nurse told us that the next check will be at 3pm and we resigned to the fate of more waiting.
I was given oxytocin to speed up contractions. The pain of contractions got worse. Then another nurse came in around 12.30pm and checked on me. I was 5cm and she continued to check every other 10 mins? I quickly went from 6 to 8cm within 30 mins and she asked for the doctor around 1pm.
Things happened so fast and I wasn't ready for it. I was still trying hard to manage the contraction pains by deep breathing. There were many times when I felt like screaming! I asked Hubby to pray. The nurse was helpful to advise me not to scream, but to just breathe in and out.
Unlike the first 5 hour labour when I had time to get the hang of deep breathing and was taught how to push when I was in a calmer state, my mind was blank this time. This time, the pushing and aftermath was much more painful and harder. I was even more distressed when my gynae told the nurse that I could actually wait a while and dilate more before pushing. Thought of "oh no, I can't do" came to my mind but when I heard "baby is coming", I just used all my strength to push her out.
I heard a loud wail! Baby was finally out!
It was so fast and furious! 1hr 45 mins of active labour was all Avalyn took. Gynae proceed to deliver my placenta and stitch up my episiotomy cut. He asked me to use the laughing gas while he stitched. My mind went blank again but could still feel the stitching sensation. He seemed to take a longer time this round.
While on the laughing gas, I vaguely heard that baby was 2.288kg and got worried. A while after I got off the gas, I broke down in tears. Gynae and Hubby were fast to console that baby is healthy and her lungs are fine when I told them that baby is so small. We had expected her to be around 2.5kg.
After a quick check on the baby, I managed to nurse her before she was sent for more checks since she was preterm. I had some rest and Hubby went for lunch while we went to be send to the normal ward.
After being sent to the normal ward, I ate some bread to recharge since dinner was a few hours away. Baby doctor came to tell us that Avalyn had low sugar level and needed to be observed in the special ward. She was fed formula milk and given drip. Daddy went over to see her.
I was sad that I couldn't continue to breastfeed her, but know that it's more important to get her sugar level before anything. By evening, her sugar level went up but still need to be observed. Drip was reduced to the minimal level as a standby.
My parents, brother, mother-in-law, Emma and Xiuhao came over for a visit in the evening and Rev Wee the next morning. Around 8pm on the 1st night, we went over to visit Avalyn at the special ward and was told that I could come to the ward to breastfeed her. I managed to nurse her again at 8+pm. However, I missed the rest of the feeds as she was crying for milk before I came down.
We were relieved to hear that her sugar level was within normal range for all the rest of tests and she could be discharged from the special ward on the 2nd day evening. Avalyn roomed in for the 2nd night and I nursed almost the whole night non-stop.
Sisters' First meet up
It was finally time for Emma and Avalyn to meet after Avalyn got out of the special ward! Children aren't allowed in the special ward so she didn't get to see her earlier.
Daddy and Emma went to receive Avalyn from the nursery. She was so tender and came over to me when she see me on the bed. Afterwhich, she got all hyped up, like a proud sister, about bringing Avalyn to me. She presented her present (Anna soft toy) to her and kept on patting her.
We asked if she wanted to carry mei mei and she was super excited. Not long after, she spotted the present "from mei mei", thanked her and opened it up.
It has been close to a week since Emma got promoted to a big sister and I'm thankful that she's coping well with her new status. She helped out with bringing things around and updated us when baby needed me. I could see so much love from Emma! I pray that we will have wisdom to upbring both of them and keep their sisterly relationship strong and healthy.
Avalyn's sugar level remained normal and could be discharged! After 2 nights stay, we came home on 19 May afternoon and started our new journey as a family of 4!
I'm thankful for a safe delivery and healthy baby. Baby Avalyn might be small but she's pretty strong. She loves to move her head about, stretch her hands and kick her legs. She's now on 2-hour feed and I'm looking forward to watch how she puff up! She has slight jaundice (common for babies especially pre-term) and needed follow up at polyclinic.
Hubby has been very chill throughout the pregnancy and delivery. I guess it's easier the 2nd round. But, I might have freaked him out during the fast labour. Most of his time was spent on taking care of Emma and the rest of the errands. Mother-in-law helped a lot with marketing and taking care of Emma too. I'm thankful for the help, and also prayers from friends around.
More updates again!