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This is how I popped – version Lily

Lily is more than 9 months old now so I better write this down now before I completely forget about the entire birth process.

# – This was taken last month when we’re on holiday in Perth. She loves her food!

On 18 February 2018 not long after dinner, I went to pee. When I wiped, I found myself looking at a bloody gloop on the tissue paper. I knew what it was, as it’s the most familiar sight to me. It’s the ‘bloody show’. While I dreaded the sight of it in my previous pregnancies, this time I was elated because I knew my baby was coming. She’s fully-formed at more than 39 weeks, fully baked as they put it.

# – This selfie was taken on 17 February 2018. What a whale haha.

I should have called my dad then to come pick Liam up but for some reason I didn’t think it was going to happen until the next day. How wrong we were….

We put Liam to bed as usual, and after that settled down to watch a movie together. It. Yeap, of all movies, I chose to watch last year’s most terrifying flick – It. In hindsight the movie had probably hastened my labour haha. Towards the end of the movie, I was curling my toes everytime a contraction kicked in. As the credits rolled, I told Gareth I think I needed to go to the hospital. We called my dad, told him what was happening and then left for the hospital with Liam still fast asleep at home alone.

I know what you’re thinking we probably should have woken him up and bring him along but it’s almost 3am. We had a plan in place. My dad was to drive to the hospital to get our house keys and then he would collect Liam from our house which was a 5 minutes drive from the hospital. It was the plan that made the most sense! It’s only about 15 minutes drive during that time of night so Liam would only have been left alone sleeping for at most 35 minutes?

Anyway, dad successfully collected Liam and I could finally focus on the labour. I eschewed epidural and gas because my labour with Liam was pretty straightforward without drug other than gas, as with the dear twins so I thought Lily’s would be the same too. Well, wrong. Turned out Lily just wouldn’t engage. She’s stuck somewhere above my hip and even when I was fully dilated in less than 2 hours….she just wouldn’t drop down! My blood pressure was hitting the roof and doc gave me an injection to control it.

In hindsight, I should have taken the epidural and probably I could endure the wait for Lily to engage? I was in so much pain with nothing to push and everytime I pushed my blood pressure shot up. Lily’s heartbeat also slowed down everytime I pushed. It was pretty traumatic, I’d tell you that.

After what seemed like an eternity I was ready to throw in the towel. I shouted at my obygyn to cut her out. He looked relieved upon my request. But it was like 4 something in the morning and they had to wait for the on-call anesthetist to drive to the hospital from her home which was 30 minutes away. Man, I was so crushed when I heard that! It was the longest 30 minutes I had to wait. My contractions were fast, furious and fucking hellish. With my previous pregnancies the babies were out pretty quick so I didn’t have to endure the pain so long but this time I was writhing for 2 hours plus (like level 10cm dilation pain) with a baby who’s not in a hurry fml

At last the anesthetist arrived, a nice well-spoken Malay lady. I asked her if she’s giving me an epidural and she said no, I was far too advanced in labour to get one so I’d be knocked out completely. I was very happy to hear that cause I just wanted to not feel anything anymore. I wasn’t prepared for a surgery so did not fast they had to give me some meds to stop me from vomiting. It’s funny how everything seemed extra slow when you’re in tremendous pain. From being rolled towards the operating room to being slid to the table under the lights, to breathing in the cocktail of bliss – everything felt so slow. I just wanted to die, not kidding.

Anyway, I breathed in deep, I guess my eyes closed and when I opened them, I found myself in a recovery room with warm air blowing up my nether region. I asked a nurse how’s my baby, she said she’s fine and waiting for me. I felt so happy. At last, we did it. I did it. My living baby, my rainbow. Lily’s here. I asked the nurse if she could bring her to me for skin to skin. She said I will get to see her later when I get to my room. I didn’t argue. I fell back asleep.

Later I was transfered to my room and they brought Lily in and placed her on my chest. She went to work at my boobs straightaway!

I was beyond words. She’s real! She’s real and she’s ours and she’s safe and healthy and did not need NICU time. Liam finally has somebody to play with!

# – Yeap, this is our baby girl!

The past 1.5 years I had been in a limbo, entangled in a messy web of grief, confusion, fear, disbelief, anger, and also joy, desperately clawing my way towards the end goal – giving birth to a full-term, healthy baby, in spite it all. Lily’s arrival was like a magic salve for all my pain.

# – 3.54kg of love :)

# – All the men I love with Lilypad.

And I finally did it. We did it, Gareth.

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One year. 

My dearest Apollo and Artemis, 

One year has passed since you both left me. It’s interesting how I perceive the memory of what happened to us. Remembering, at times feel really foreign, as though it’s just one of the dozens of sad stories of strangers I read on the Internet everyday. There’s a fleeting sadness but I feel hardly any attachment. 

But sometimes, sometimes I feel like everything happened only yesterday. It feels so fresh and raw. My chest would tighten and tears would start flowing freely. This often happen in the middle of the night while I am in bed, when it’s dark, quiet and all I could hear are my own thoughts and your dad’s breathing. 

Well-meaning people tell me that I am still young and that I can give birth again. True, but telling me that does not comfort me. Not in the least. What it sounds to me when they say that is, you both didn’t matter. 

But you both mattered, so much and you still matter to me. Despite your untimely departure, you have made me a better person. I take care of myself better now, and because of that I am a better mummy to your brother, a better wife to your dad (at least I think so). I may still be reduced to a blubbering mess sometimes but it comes with the territory. 

My loves, before this, I used to believe that when people die, they just become extinguished. Finished. That there’s no heaven or hell, no afterlife. The only things left were just memories when somebody dies. However, guess what, I couldn’t reconcile my belief with your deaths, especially when we never even got to make any memory together. What was I to do? 

In desperation, your mummy went to see, wait for it…..a tarot card reader! Hoping to make contact with you guys and all that. Well, of course it was a colossal waste of money but it gave me a taste of comfort I had not tasted for a while since you both left. That encounter made me realise that I needed something in my life, nope, not cake……spirituality! Long story short, say hello to your new crystal-admiring-sage-burning-mummy-formerly-known-as-the-nihilist. I also have an app called Angel Energy Cards on my phone that I may be using a bit too much.

My dearest babies, what a year you had given me. Because of you, I’ve experienced turmoil like nothing I could ever have imagined. Also because of you, I have experienced true joy. The kind of joy that expands my heart and fills me with a sense of contentment, just from something as simple as seeing your brother conquering his fear of coming down a slide. Or seeing your dad walk through the door, sweaty and panting after a night run. 

Thank you for teaching me how to tell the difference between stupid, frivolous things and the important ones. You both have given me the greatest present of all, the gift of clarity.

Thank you my babies. I love you forever and always. 

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Warning: Downer article ahead.

I have the cutest son in the world. He is the reason why I want more kids although I haven’t been lucky in that department. It stings whenever I see him getting sociable with other younger kids but, oh well, I suppose it’s not our time yet.

I will admit it, I’m not keen on being pregnant. Not anymore. I used to tell my friends that I loved being pregnant, that I felt most beautiful when I was pregnant. Unfortunately, it is no longer the case anymore. The innocence of being pregnant has lost on me. Sometimes, I wonder if my failure in this respect has anything to do with my trepidation over being pregnant. I do believe my hesitation is just due to fear but maybe truly, I just am not wanting it hard enough? Maybe that’s why I don’t get to keep my babies? Cause you know, Kim doesn’t want a baby hard enough.

I was in the middle of getting my life back when I found out I was pregnant recently. While I was thrilled with the baking bun in the oven, I was also slightly disappointed that we had to suddenly put many plans on hold. Running 10K. Perform an unassisted headstand by the end of the year. See my mum-in-law in England. We were supposed to visit Barcelona and Ibiza too. Resume scuba diving. Oh, and finally visiting Japan! I had to stop all my activities immediately cause I don’t want a baby to fall out of my bits. All those plans evaporated the moment the second line appeared on the stick. Due to my scummy cervix I had to be near my hospital for my entire pregnancy so there was no other options but to stay put, and stay still.

But it’s okay, I found a doctor I liked and we hatched a battle plan to ensure the birth of a healthy full term baby. Alas, I lost it anyway. I wonder what sort of bug I picked up in Lombok? I thought 9 weeks was pretty safe to travel to somewhere near and yet, the heartbeat just stopped. Doc said it could just be chromosomal abnormality but what if it wasn’t? What if it really was the flu? This means I caused it right because I made the decision to go to Lombok? Was it sensible to fly 3 hours in a plane full of people who coughed without covering their mouths? Did I bring this upon myself? I really shouldn’t blame myself but the questions swirl constantly in the mind and cannot be stopped.

Lately I find myself looking at pictures of Apollo and Artemis again. Thinking of the what-ifs. Crying. Wondering why I hadn’t done this and that and hating on people who are happily pregnant with their seconds and thirds. Crying. Finding faults with my husband, with myself, with people I think who should have cared more. Crying. Eating 3/4 of a 9×9″ brownie. Crying. I can’t stand myself like this. And yet, I can’t help it.

I hate that I’m writing this blog post. I hate its tone. I hate its content. I hate that it’s incoherent. I feel weak and lame and pathetic. But I do this because I always seem to feel better after pouring everything out in words.

I am very sad. However, I am not grief stricken. I know the difference between the two. I hope nobody ever has to find out the difference for themselves.

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