This time last year, at 12:14 high noon, I gave birth to our firstborn, Jamie. My birth story should have been told a year before but stories like these never really grow old, don’t they?
Today, I felt the sudden surge of mixed emotions; but topping them all is the feeling of gratitude. I decided to pen this down with no intention of recalling the horror story of my struggles and pains while on labor; but rather, to recollect what a beautiful miracle I had been given since Jamie was born.
I will not sugarcoat. Going back, it was not an easy journey because of hypertension issues pre-pregnancy. I had to be closely monitored especially towards the end of the 3rd trimester. As I went in for my 34th- week regular check at the Ambulatory Clinic, my blood pressure had a sudden spike which alarmed the Doctor on duty. So I was strictly advised to be confined in the hospital until further notice.
I was forced to file my Maternity Leave at work two weeks earlier than originally planned because the Doctors could not give me a definite day of discharge. That meant it was a leave without pay for 4 weeks; not until the baby was born! They had to keep me in the hospital and take a close watch on every single thing; looking for every possible sign of eclampsia, a deadly complication of pregnancy when one suffers from a relatively high blood pressure.
I can still vividly recall, one Doctor admonished that if I was to give birth on my 35th week, it wouldn’t be so much of an issue. But I was told that it would be better if I could hold the baby in until 37 weeks.
I can’t believe my good fortune! I reached 38 weeks and 1 day! I couldn’t wait for much longer!!! I felt like I had been pregnant forever! I was getting heavier each day! I walked like a penguin! The painful pressure was almost unbearable towards the end!
My birth plan was vaginal birth. I was reassured that despite my hypertension issues, it should be fine as an epidural shall be administered which helps in keeping the blood pressure low.
I feel the need to emphasise that I have a very low pain threshold. I even had to wear a gas mask just to be able to bear the excruciating pain of an internal examination! It was THAT bad! It was a very traumatic experience for me!
I was scheduled for induction early morning of 16 March 2015.
But everything didn’t go as planned. I felt the onslaught of labor; I was 3cm dilated when I screamed: “After this, I won’t be able to bear the intense pain anymore!!!” I felt so desperate for any type of relief. And that’s when the Anaesthesiologist administered the epidural. It felt heaven after that! I was so impressed that I was all set to push!
But Jamie got distressed! His heartbeat slowed down; the Doctors declared they needed to do an emergency caesarian. I had to quickly sign a waiver before they wheeled me into the theatre. Everything happened so swiftly! In a matter of less than 30 minutes, Jamie was out.
But we didn’t hear him cry at all. I felt numb; my world stopped when the doctor came over to me and explained: “Your baby’s not breathing; we need to quickly bring him in to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).” I was dumbfounded! I was lost for words! All I knew was that I blankly stared at my husband’s eyes while he was holding my hands so tightly! After a few minute interval since the Doctor spoke to me, I heard Jamie; he cried so hard like there’s no tomorrow. I felt the tears streaming down my cheeks!!! The feeling was indescribable!
After the heart-stricken moment, I learned from my husband that the Doctors instructed him to stay with our baby in the Special Care Unit as I will fare just fine on my own. He will never forget when he had the first glimpse of Jamie- he was all blue!!! And he wasn’t breathing! It is such a huge miracle to have Jamie in our lives despite the traumatic ordeal on the day he was born.
My husband takes pride in the fact that he was the first one that Jamie saw. He kept repeating it to me.
Jamie had to stay in the Special Care Unit of the hospital for 24 hours. I had to be wheeled in to where he was so I can breastfeed him every 2 hours. It felt surreal holding him in my arms! I soaked and basked in the glorious moments of Jamie in my arms at last!
After giving birth to my precious son, I still had to be closely monitored by the hospital personnel for any possible symptoms of eclampsia and infection. We felt “trapped” for 2 weeks and 1 day in the hospital but I must say it helped tremendously for my speedy recovery- but I will have to admit that my recovery has been rough.
Eventhough my birth story didn’t unfold exactly as I imagined it to, it is a very positive experience and it taught me many things. Our story is one I will be forever grateful for and immensely proud of. After all, it brought the sweetest baby boy into our lives and that is all that mattered to us in the end, no matter how he came into this world. We love him to pieces and can’t imagine life without him.
Today, we look back on that same day last year with so much gratitude. Parenthood has its ups and downs; hills and hurdles. It is actually never-ending. But I take a little pause to count every single blessing that we have. We thank our awesome God for this beautiful gift of life He has given us. I thank Him for our lives, for giving me a family to love and be loved by them. I could not thank Him enough for giving us Jamie. He’s a cheerful, adorable baby boy that’s keeping our world go round. He is the main source of our joys; the primary reason why we keep thriving despite life’s challenges.
Happy 1st birthday, my precious son! May you grow up into a young fine, decent man- just like your Daddy. We love you to the moon and back!!!
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