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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.

Posted in: Emo & Personal, Parenting - Continue Reading

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. 

Posted in: Emo & Personal, Parenting - Continue Reading

Liam’s 1st night in his own room

We have decided to send Liam to a kindie since he started saying, “I want to go school” at every chance he gets. So yesterday, we took him to a prospective school! Gareth and I were only planning on discussing the nitty gritty aka $$$ but the principal assigned a teacher to watch over Liam while we were in the office and boy, was he chuffed! 

He took to the school like duck to water. At first, sitting down calmly playing with puzzles, then following other kids around and before long he was dashing in and out of the principal’s office like he owned the place. I nervously said to the principal, “You will have a handful with this one”, but she smiled brightly at me and said, “Don’t worry, mummy!”. Did that assuage my worry? Of course not, are you kidding lol

Anyway, since Liam is going to school in less than two weeks, we realised he has to start waking up early. Like really, really, really early. I am not sure who I fear for more, myself or him haha. I mean, his regular bedtime is loosely midnight but sometimes he hit the sack at 3am 😑

We believed in just chalking up 12 hours of snooze a day for him so was never really bothered by when he goes to bed, just what time he wakes up. Well, well done and congratulations Kim cause now you have to get him in bed by 9pm. I know some parents have their kids tucked in by 7.30pm, power to you folks but that sounds like a friggin’ prison sentence to me. 

So after we got back from the kindie, we decided to bite the bullet and start Liam’s sleep training straightaway. Poor thing didn’t get to nap and fell asleep in his chair in the middle of colouring. 

Had to wake him up after taking this picture, poor Liam.

He was so angry after I woke him up I had to pacify him with snacks and a couple of episodes of Tayo the Little Bus on tele.

Here, he is too wrecked to care. He refused to get up for dinner. Look at those eyes contemplating his shitty life.

My target was to get him showered and in bed by 9.30pm but I missed the mark by an hour at 10.30pm. No matter it was still very early considering he went to bed at 2am the night before. 

Oh and did I forget to say? We also decided to make things more challenging by putting him to bed in his own room. HIS OWN FRIGGIN ROOM! 

Other than the first month of his life of where he spent in the hospital’s NICU, Liam has never slept on his own without at least me, Gareth or his grandpa by his side. We started prepping him about sleeping in his own room quite sometime ago but he always managed very witty comebacks, such as “I don’t want to sleep in my room”, “No sleeping in Liam’s room” or a succinct “No”. 

So last night while tucking him in, I very calmly (emphasise “calmly” because on the inside I was hysterical omg I am abandoning him, he’s going to come at me aged 35, telling me I’ve ruined his life and given him serious pyschological issues), repeatedly assure him that he’s a “big boy”, that big boys sleep in big boys’ room, mummy sleeps in mummy’s room, that his room is nice cause all his books are in it etc etc etc. 

He seemed agreeable and fell asleep willingly with his fingers embedded on the inside of my armpit. I made my escape, exited his room and came down the stairs triumphantly. Leisurely folded laundry and watched an episode of GLOW on Netflix (certified fresh by yours truly). Ahhh, this isn’t so hard actually. 

1.5 hours later, the first animalistic cry rang through the house. Gareth went up to pacify him. Not long after, he came down telling me Liam wants mummy. I gave Gareth the evils, and continued drinking my tea in silence. I could still hear Liam sobbing from downstairs but I hardened my heart. 

He finally stopped crying after what seemed like am eternity. It was only 15 minutes in reality. I went up the stairs very quietly but I heard a door opened and out came this adorable little poppet with tear-rimmed eyes at the top of our staircase saying, in a trembling voice, “Mummy, mummy hug please”. Oh my heart :(

I scooped him up, carried him back to his bed and very calmly told him that it’s okay. I repeated what I said the first time and I kept kissing him on the forehead, sang with him. I also turned on the nightlight, which I referred to as “baby light” and brought him Roxy, a stuffed bunny and Hoppig, a stuffed dog. He’s always slept in pitch darkness and he’s never attached to his soft toys so I didn’t even think that any of these could comfort him but they did! 

I told him in a cheeky voice that Roxy has an armpit too (he needed to fiddle with my armpit everynight before sleeping, yes ladies and gentlemen my son’s chouchou aka smellie blanket is my smelly armpit) and placed his finger under the poor bunny’s arm. He giggled. 

We went at this for a few minutes and from him reiterating, “Liam sleeps in mummy’s bed”, he started saying, “Liam sleeps in Liam’s bed”. I said, “I love you”, and he said it back. I said “Goodnight”, and he said it back. By the time he puckered up and leaned in to kiss me when I asked for one, I knew he was ready. He didn’t protest when I started leaving his room but I could see his little face as I closed the door…my Liam was trying to be brave. Oh my baby! His lips were quivering and he was trying so hard not to cry. At that moment I really wanted to scoop him up and bring him to our room but I didn’t. 

I closed the door behind me and waited. Not a peep. After coming out of the shower I asked Gareth if he heard anything. Nothing. 

Part of me felt like checking on him but Gareth said no. I suggested getting a baby monitor, he said no to that too. Party pooper. 

I read a little in bed and then I tried to sleep but I couldn’t. It was 2am and I still hadn’t heard anything from Liam’s room and I wasn’t sure if it was a good or a bad thing. I slept fitfully. 

At 7.30am I popped up. I opened my door half expecting a Liam sleeping on the floor in the hallway but there’s nobody. 

I tiptoed into his room, pretty sure he’d be on the floor sleeping on a pile of toys at least but he wasn’t. 

To my utter surprise, Liam was fast asleep in his bed, just as I had left him!

What a sight for sore eyes. Sniffs.

I don’t think I could describe my feelings. At best, I think I can say I’m feeling as proud as the day he was discharged from the hospital almost 3 years ago. 

As I type this blogpost out on my phone, Liam is still sleeping in his own bed, in his own room, by himself! I have to pinch myself! 

I suppose Liam’s first night alone in his own room is a success. Lets hope his second night will be even better. 

Liam, my dearest son, I love you so very much and you’ve made mummy so proud. If I could, I would want you in our bed for as long as you wish but please understand this is for your own good. You are starting kindie and you need good quality sleep, without mummy and daddy’s reading (read: phone usage) distracting you so that you can be your best happy self at school. If you’re currently 35 years old and suffering from abandonment issues that you think I caused from making you sleep on your own all those years ago, I hope reading this can give you some insights into my situation then and I encourage you to forgive and love me cause I am your mother, mister. 

Love you loads, mummy. 

Posted in: Parenting - Continue Reading