Hello everyone! I'm Sophie and I may only be a couple of days old, but I have quite a personality already. My parents think that they are in charge, but don't worry, I will soon free them of any such illusions about who they think is The Boss.
Lesson One: Timing is dictated by ME
My parents thought they would have some more time before I arrived. According to the doctor, I was still taking my time to come, so when my mommy started getting contractions, she thought they were just the Braxton Hicks "practice" kind (she didn't understand why they were kinda strong, but she thought she'd just tough it out - which she did for 2 days). Then I broke my amniotic sac, at about 11pm on 9 May, so that's when my parents FINALLY understood that I was actually going to arrive.
Lesson Two: You can try to prepare, but you control nothing
My Mommy went through the rest of labour with just her birth ball and yoga mat - For more than 11 hours! My mommy now understands why according to Norse legend places are reserved in Valhalla, for warriors who show courage in battle, and women who show courage in labour. My daddy is so proud of her (especially because he expected a bit more yelling violence and screaming), but there was mostly just a lot of deep yoga breaths, and someone trying to break all his fingers by squeezing them. He reminds all other daddies to TAKE OFF YOUR WEDDING BAND, otherwise the yelling and screaming will come from dad.
It all went fine until (literally) the 11th hour when Mommy was at 9 cm dilation, she got into the Birth Pool, which was great, because the water was so relaxing. Unfortunately it was a bit too relaxing, because the contractions just Stopped. Worse, instead of dilating some more her uterus opening started getting smaller.So Mommy had to get some oxcytocin to get those contractions going again, but for some reason, despite maximum dosage, they were just painful without being useful. Mommy originally had big plans to give birth using water and in various funky positions. But it was clear this was not going to happen, and the doctor started contemplating a ceserean.
But Mommy wanted to give it one last try, so the doctor tried pushing on her tummy to fake a contraction whilst she tried pushing me out. It was either that, or a ventouse, which would have given me a nasty headache. We later find out that my head was asynclitic, which means that I tilted it to one side, which made the presenting part larger than normal. THAT was when Daddy got to hear the primal scream.
Still, this is me in mommy's arms afterwards, and it all seems worth it after all!! You know that I am a good little Singaporean because I got top marks in the first 2 tests of my life (Apgar scores of 9 and 9). I've been cleaned up in this photo, but since I came out a bit furry and white (lanugo and vernix) mum was concerned that I was a baby rabbit. Check out my pointy cone-head...
Lesson Three: Surprising little science lessons
The next thing which was surprising was that my placenta was stuck a bit too firmly to my Mommy's uterus. This means that it didn't deliver despite the hospital trying all kind of funky low-intervention treatment. This is called placenta accreta, and occurs in about 1 in 2500 deliveries (I TOLD you to buy 4D!). Nobody knows why this happens. One theory is that my placenta was orignally designed to support my twin who died before he or she got detected, but my Mommy doesn't like that theory because it is too sad. She prefers to think that my placenta was just too damn healthy.
After all that drug-free birth, Mommy had to go for an operation under general anasthesia to remove the placenta, so she was out cold for at least 2 hours. My daddy got to take care of me in the hours immediately after the birth, and for many days after that. This probably explains why I am such a daddy's little girl...
The average blood loss at the time of delivery is approximately 500 cc during a vaginal delivery, but Mommy lost about 2000 cc. For many days when she was in the hospital, the doctors were monitering her and trying to avoid giving her a blood transfusion (which happens in 50 percent of such situations). My parents are really glad that we had chosen a low-intervention kind of hospital!
Despite everything (or perhaps because of it) my parents absolutely adore me, and are really very very happy that I arrived to turn their lives upside down. We're all at home now, and Daddy is taking really good care of me and my mommy! That was a long post, but hope you enjoyed the story.
We're taking a break from posting for a while now, and will see you back here really soon!
big kisses from Sophie
(and her proud parents)