Monday, 21 November 2016

Packing your hospital bag for Delivery

Congrats on your little one! You must be very excited especially if this is your first baby! 

So when do we start to pack for our little "staycation"? Well, it's always good to pack early because you never know, baby might be impatient and too excited to come out to see the world.I would suggest you start packing around week 32 or so, always good to be early and prepared. 

Here's a simple packing list for your reference, do you have any other items to add on?

1) NRIC - important!

2) Admission letter (and any other documents of your medical conditions, should you have any)

Your gynae will give you the admission letter around week 32 or so. Place the admission letter in your hospital bag. Actually in case of super emergency, the most important documents are your NRIC and admission letter so just grab these 2 and zoom off. You can always send hubby home to pack the other stuffs.

I'm tested positive for GBS (Group B streptococcus) for my 3rd boy so there is a letter by the gynae to inform the medical staff that I need intravenous antibiotics during delivery. I put this letter in the hospital bag also. It's very important.

3) Marriage certificate

Bring this along so that you can register for your child's birth at the hospital and get his/her birth certificate done, so convenient! Fret not if you have not decided on baby's name yet, you can always visit ICA to register after you are discharged from hospital.

4) Sweater

It can get very cold in the hospital so bring one along ya?

5) Nursing night gowns / Nursing Pyjamas 

I bought some cute nursing night gowns on Qoo10 . I think the hospital gowns look a bit dull. Buy some brightly colored ones to brighten yourself up!

6) Nursing bras

I prefer wearing tube bras for nursing as they are so convenient, just pull down and nurse! I bought mine from Qoo10 (link included) as well! They are cheap and pretty good so far.

Remember to establish latching as soon as possible in the hospital, grab the lactation consultant and do not let go until you have succeeded. Latching successfully is really the first step to a successful breastfeeding journey. You won't need to worry about your milk supply if baby is latching well.

You may also be interested to read my post on my thoughts about breastfeeding.

7) Slippers and socks (in case you are cold but I did not wear socks)

Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) provides slippers but just in case you are more comfortable with your own.

8) Disposable undies

Very important item because you will not want to bring dirty or blood stained undies home right?
Buy enough to last you for a month, that is till you are done with your confinement because you will not want to do any washing during  your confinement and definitely do not want Auntie or anybody else to wash your undies for you.

9) Handphone and charger / Camera

I don't think I need to say more, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp...what esle? I took pictures using my Samsung S7 Edge so I did not bring my camera. If you are into photography, bring along your DSLR!

10) Toothbrush and toothpaste (Toiletries provided)
TMC provides toiletries but if you are environmentally friendly, you can always bring along your own.

11) Cleanser/Make-up remover and moisturizer

You must definitely bring your own since hospitals do not provide any. However, if you do not plan to wear any make-up, I think you can just wash your face with warm water, I think that should suffice. 

Bringing along some moisturizer is good because it will make you look fresher, especially when visitors come along. You can also bring some facial masks because your skin deserve a good rest after the hard work!

12) Sanitary pads

You can bring a packet of your own favored brand although hospitals do provide the pads, just in case the ones they use aren't to your liking.

13) Home clothes for discharge for Mummy

Choose some comfortable nursing wear in case baby gets hungry while waiting for discharge. 

14) Home clothes for discharge for baby

TMC provides the clothes but just in case you want baby to wear that cute romper or pyjamas home.

I guess that's about it....Enjoy your stay! Do you have any other items to add to the list above? You are welcome to do so!

You may also be interested to read about Rayes' birth story Part 1 and Part 2

Kai Sin

Monday, 7 November 2016

Welcome little Rayes! - Part 2

After my prayer on that Saturday night, (continued from Welcome little Rayes!-Part 1) I was wondering if I should start packing my hospital bag. But since I was feeling a bit tired and was having a splitting headache, I decided that I would pack another day. I figured I would probably have one more week before Rayes arrived. 

I did not sleep well that night because of my headache, was hoping it would go away in the morning and I would not need to pop any painkillers. When morning finally came, my headache was still as bad. I decided to take some painkillers so that I could function properly at Church. But first, off to the washroom I went for the bladder of a pregnant lady is forever full. 

What I did not expect is that much of water gushing out uncontrollably. 

"Did my waterbag just burst? Yes! Yes! My waterbag burst!!!!I'm ready to deliver!!!yea!!!!!" 

And so, my water bag burst just 2 days after my vaginal vault prolapse episode, on a Sunday morning again! There couldn't be a better timing, God is so good.

However, this time round, contractions kicked in once the water bag burst, I could feel the pain at 5 min interval which is pretty frequent.

Well, but I still got to brush my teeth first and also took a shower (while gritting my teeth), because I knew I would not have any chance to shower in the hospital later on. When I was clean and fresh, I woke Ray (my hubby) up, "I think my water bag just burst, please get ready."

While Ray went to get the car, I started to pack my hospital bag, I could vaguely remember the things to pack. Anyway, in case of super emergency, just grab your NRIC and admission letter, the other things can wait. I tried to act as calm as possible in front of Rayson and Rayden so as not to cause them any alarm We drove the boys to my mother's place. 

3 years back, when my water bag burst on a Sunday morning while we were at Church, we had to drive Rayson (elder boy) hurriedly to my mother's place. Back then, I remembered I went to hospital with a heavy heart because I was worried about Rayson. Worried if he would be scared without me by his side, if he understood what was going on, if I am going to see him again......I missed him badly.

This time round, I felt much better. The boys, Rayson and Rayden, seemed pretty excited about baby Rayes coming out soon. They couldn't wait to see him and Rayson was looking forward to his "staycation" at Thomson Medical. 

Rayson said to Rayden “ 弟弟,你要不要来医院住,很美的,很像hotel的!”

Most importantly, the 2 brothers have each other for support and company now. They waved goodbye to us happily as we drove off and head towards Thomson Medical Centre (TMC).

Sunday morning is a great timing because the traffic was so smooth we would reach TMC in 20 min! And there is no need for me to call Ray frantically on the phone. But at the rate of my contractions, I was really worried that baby Rayes would come out before we reached TMC. I was not too concerned about giving birth outside, when the contractions come, I would just need to go with the flow and push the baby out, there would be no time for me to have any other thoughts.
My real concern was that I have Group B - Strep infection (GBS) and antibiotics need to be administered through an IV during delivery. Else, the GBS might harm the baby. 

Thank God for the smooth traffic, we reached TMC in time. The first thing I said to the nurse at the delivery suite was "I'm going to deliver soon and I need antibiotics now because I have GBS."
They checked me and dilation was 6 cm. (*You can only start pushing when dilation reaches 10 cm)

Dr Yeap, my gynae, arrived soon (we usually converse in Mandarin but I will just write what she said in English for convenience sake)

"Thank God your water bag burst! I was praying for you last night!"

I thank God for a great doctor like Dr Yeap who genuinely care for her patients.I could see that she is quite troubled about my vaginal vault prolapse. So like me, she turns to God too. Dr Yeap isn't any doctor, she is the doctor who operates on my Mummy 16 years ago, I have a special affinity with her.
She informed the nurses about my vaginal vault prolapse and reminded them to be more careful and gentle during delivery. 

"Okay, I wil go make my rounds and come back later ya?" 

Either the nurse think I was managing my pain very well or she was trying to distract me, she started to chat with me and asked me about my vaginal vault prolapse. Dilation was proceeding fast and pain was getting more intense, like somebody drilling down my abdomen. My previous 2 pregnancies were induced, and God has granted my wish to go through a natural birth for Rayes and I can tell you honestly that it is not true that induced birth is much painful, induced or not, they are equally painful, there is no difference!!!!

"Do you want laughing gas?" asked the nurse.

"No, it doesn't have any effect on me"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, give me some oxygen, it's good for the baby"

"I think I will give you 50-50 % laughing gas and oxygen?"


Though I think laughing gas is useless, it sort of keeps me busy because I need to concentrate on breathing well. *Take a deep breath....breath out....deep breath...breath out.....* It keeps me busy. And when I uncontrollably lift up my legs.......

"No no no no no.......don't lift them up are not ready to push....." The nurse exclaimed.

Ray : "Conserve your energy, conserve your energy.."

"I can feel him coming down!!!!" I yelled.

"I know.....I know.....just a little while more....."

At this moment, Dr Yeap arrived. I let out the 2 loudest grunts to help myself tide over the terrible waves of contractions.

And then something amazing happened......

Dissociation from pain

After my grunts, suddenly, I could not feel anything. I could see the people in front of me and hear their voices clearly, I could even follow their instructions so I think I must be pretty clear minded? But, the amazing thing is I could not feel any PAIN! I was elated! Am so so thankful that God had granted me a few minutes to take a breather before the last and final push.

How did this happen? Was it the effect of the laughing gas? But I did not experience this before for Rayson! I would like to think that it is God who had helped me to take away the pain. He knew how much I could handle. If you have similar experiences, do share with me ya?

And I was so happy that I kept smiling to myself. I heard the nurse said "She's giddy...."

And then I was back to reality. I could feel the pain again and Rayes moving down. I gave one push and Rayes' head was out (I guessed) . But I could still feel contractions, I guessed Rayes was not totally out yet. Dr Yeap encouraged "Good, very good, gently, gently......" And so I gave a slow and gentle push and I could feel Rayes slide out of me!

YEA! Thank God! Thank God! Thank God! Thank God! Thank God!

Thank God for blessing me with a short labor, Rayes was out within 1 hour.

*You may also be interested to read "I said No to Epidural"

Welcome Little Rayes!

Ray and I burst out laughing when we first set our eyes on Rayes because he resembles his brothers so much!

Dr Yeap "I think we should really say a prayer of thanks to God."

And Dr Yeap and I prayed together, giving thanks to God. Thereafter, we hugged each other and that was when my eyes were filled with tears. I was very thankful that God has sent so many angels to me in my life. Maybe Dr Yeap does not only see me as a patient but also her sister-in-Christ.

I could not wait to go back to my room for I have not really enjoyed a good meal for the past 8 months. Ever since I was pregnant, I felt bloated everyday and as Rayes grew in my tummy, I guessed there was not much space left for food. 

This was my 3rd time delivering at TMC and hence they have kindly upgraded my room to Super Deluxe suite. I have pleasant experiences staying at TMC when I delivered Rayson and Rayden, I know I can get a really good rest during my 3D2N stay here.

Do you miss the papaya fish soup at TMC?
Spacious Super Deluxe suite
Celebrating our birthdays at the hospital
So happy to see my boys! I miss them!

Rayson seeing his little brother for the first time. He was very excited!

Little Rayes latched successfully

And so our journey continues, 
I love God, I love my boys (hubby included), I love my life.

Clueless on what to pack for delivery? You may wish to read my post "Packing your hospital bag for Delivery".
Kai Sin

Friday, 4 November 2016

Welcome little Rayes! - Part 1

We are really excited about this pregnancy even though it is my 3rd.  We prayed for God to bless us with our 3rd baby and leave everything in God’s loving Hands. It turns out that God wants my boys to have 3 years gap each. I guess this is also good in a way as it gives me sufficient time to recuperate. We trust that God’s plan is definitely the best!

Missing my menses is nothing new to me as my cycle has always been a mess. It could be as late as a few days to a few weeks and even a few months. I was told that I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hence the very irregular menses. So you can imagine how thankful we are back then when I was pregnant with my first boy and then 2nd……God has really blessed us more than we can imagine. So to me, childbearing is really up to God and not something within my control.

This is also the first time that I tested myself positive with a pregnancy kit. The second line is so faint I am really doubtful if I’m pregnant and feel so tempted to buy a few more kits to reassure myself. Moreover, I do not have obvious pregnancy symptoms except that I felt like someone has punched me hard in my tummy. But one look at the test, my hubby Ray said confidently that it is a positive test, I wonder how he can be so sure.

“A line is a line, no matter how faint it is.” My cool as a cucumber hubby said.

A line as faint as this is a +ve test...couldn't really capture it on picture

So we waited for a few more weeks to visit our gynae, so good to see our lovely Dr Yeap again, and we saw on the screen our 3rd little baby and heard his strong heartbeat! So thrilled!!! We’re going to have a baby again! I can’t wait to see him! 

Thank God that this pregnancy went pretty smoothly. As with the previous 2, I did not experience much morning sickness except for some bloating, loss of appetite and felt a bit nauseous during the 1st trimester. Energy level was high during my 2nd trimester and I managed to bring my 2 boys around for outings, play dates etc during the June holidays.

This time round, my gynae Dr Yeap wanted me to rest more because she is worried of premature birth. My waterbag burst unexpectedly at week 35 for Rayden (2nd boy), one day after my routine check-up. .

Dr Yeap: "So you start your leave in September?"

Me: "Ermm...Oct...PSLE will be over by then."

And so, for the first time, I'm granted some rest before I popped, unlike my previous 2 pregnancies which I worked till I delivered. Climbing the staircases at school is no joke, especially for Rayden (2nd boy), I kept having the feeling that he is going to drop out anytime.

I am so thankful for the break but I guess I did not heed Dr Yeap's advice and rest. I was as busy at home. I wanted to make full use of all my free time and continued to cook in the mornings for my boys and hubby. I continued to ferry my boys thru and fro their school. I continued to bring my boys out, wanting to spend more time with them before I get busy with the littlest one again. I continued to drive myself around, squeezing myself into the driver seat. I continued to tidy whatever I could at home.

Attending my colleague's wedding a few days before my water bag burst


The last straw

I brought my boys swimming one morning and to my dismay, there aren't any benches near the children's swimming pools! The benches available would be too far for me to monitor my boys, hence I ended up standing all the way for as long as they were in the pool.

That night while bathing, I could feel something tender down there, I thought nothing of it thinking it must be baby Rayes exerting pressure which caused some swelling and I would be fine after some rest.

The next morning, I continued to prepare my bentos but something just felt not quite right. I just felt weird...there wasn't any pain but I could feel the pressure in my tummy, like something was going to drop out...everything felt kind of heavy.

And then came the blood. Oh goodness, is this bloody show? After giving birth to 2 boys, I am still unsure of the signs of labor. I could feel the tender thing down there again. Is it the umbilical cord? Is it the baby?......................................With no time to waste, my mummy and I took a cab down to
Dr Yeap's clinic.

Vaginal Vault Prolapse

After checking, the good news is the tender thing bulging out down there has nothing to do with the baby and baby is still healthy and fine in my womb but the bad news is I have Vaginal Vault Prolapse,
Dr Yeap tried to push the bulge back in but it kept slipping out. She tried to slip a big plastic ring (yikes!) in to support my vaginal vault but this failed also, the ring kept dropping out. And so I was referred to her friend at Mount E Novena, a urogynae, to see what could be done.

Dr Lee, the urogynae, checked me and informed that nothing could be done at the moment. There is no way a plastic ring will fit me. All I can do now is to rest more and wait till I deliver and see how is my condition. There is a 50-50 percent chance that I will recover, else surgery can be done a few months after I deliver Rayes.

So Dr Yeap stopped my medication (taken previously to reduce contractions which started at week 31) and informed us that we are ready to welcome Rayes if he is ready to come out (at week 36). However, extra care must be taken during delivery because of the vaginal vault prolapse.

The long wait ahead

And so, I have no choice but to rest now.....because the moment I stand up, I could feel the "thing" slipping out again......

I kind of blame myself for this episode because maybe it could have been avoided if I heed Dr Yeap's advice and rest properly. I just do not have the capability to carry my baby to full term.....

But to be positive, this is actually not a serious problem..It caused me some inconvenience at most, because I could not walk much. On the bright side, this is actually a good chance for me to rest. However, I really do hope that I do not need to go through any surgery after delivery as it will surely affect my breastfeeding journey. Oh well, but what to do, it's useless for me to worry now as there is nothing I can do.

Let me go to God then, He will surely know what to do. I am so so so glad that no matter what happens in life, He will always be around to comfort my troubled soul.

And so I prayed on that Saturday night.....because I know that God's plan is the best......

Lessons learnt:

  • Listen to doctor's advice
  • Take good care of yourself before you can take care of others
  • Start doing Kegel exercises (no matter pregnant or not) to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles which support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. You can be physically fit yet have weak pelvic muscles because they are often neglected. They will start giving you problems with age also.
  • It's also time to get my fitness back! (after my confinement)

To be continued in Part 2......

Kai Sin