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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The Mommyhood Series [vi] - Birth by Caesarean

After the endless shopping that we were doing (read more here), we finally gave birth.

The day has come. I was 2 days away from my Estimated Due Date (EDD), but there was no sign of dilation and my water bag didn't burst. Also, because I am petite and Baby was getting heavy at 3.5kg), the Doc was worried that it would take me 24 hours at least, to deliver by natural birth. And that's if all's safe and well.

Therefore we consented to Caesarean surgery this fateful Saturday. Spent the morning getting busy with viewings so I wouldn't be nervous about the surgery. The procedure was scheduled for late afternoon but I was advised to check in 3 hours early to prepare.

By 9.00am that day I was to start fasting. Ok, not really fasting but I couldn't take meals after that. I had to stop fluids intake by 1300 hours.

After settling registration at level 1, Thomsom Medical Centre, they brought me to the 2-bedder ward I have chosen. I changed into a dark maroon gown, and they injected something into my anus to induce passing of motion.

I took a rest and the nurses came for me half an hour before the surgery. I was brought to the operating theater and met many people who said hi along the way- everyone asked for my full name and NRIC number, I had to repeat myself at least 6 times.

Then I finally met my Anaesthetician who prepared me for 2nd strongest dosage of Epidural. They did the Jab, waited for it to settle, and then tested my reaction. When they were certain that I was numb enough and ready, my Gynae performed the surgery.

I was very nervous, to be honest. Millions of thoughts raced through my head - would the surgery be all right ? Would Baby be fine? Would it hurt? Would I over bleed? Would there be complications? Would I die? Was my Will updated? Have I done my last insurance nomination?

The Hubby changed into some protective garb and was seated beside me holding my hand.

I felt some tugging and all but no pain at all. Then I heard the Doc saying "Its done", followed by a loud wailing. Baby was out. We were both safe and sound.

They brought Baby to the corner to clean up and take measurements of her head circumference and length. In the meantime, the Doc stitched me up.

The tiny purplish being that was my daughter was then carried over to me. She stopped wailing the moment she was in my arms, probably recognising the heartbeat shes been listening to for the past 9 months. The nurses helped us to take photos - our very first family portrait.

I had handed over the kits for Stem Cells collection and Cord Blood collection by Cryoviva, so the operating theater crew informed me they would send these to the labs for suitability testing as well. Personally I believe very much in cord blood banking - it's like another layer of insurance for the child. Other providers include Singapore Cord Blood Banking, Cordlife and Stemcord.

I was brought to a holding ward to be monitored- to ensure there were no complications, and that my blood pressure was normal.

Then they returned me to my ward on level 3, where I could rest. For the first night , I couldn't ingest anything so was put on drip; nurses monitored my blood pressure and temperature every hour. They also came around to help clean my body, bring painkillers and change my maternity pads. I slowly regained sensation in my lower body, and was encouraged to wiggle my feet more. I didn't get much sleep between the monitoring, medicine, changing of pads and breastfeeding Baby.

My Doc came to check on me at 7.00am the next morning, and the Paediatrician came shortly after, to tell me about Baby's health status. Breakfast was served. For the meals over the next few days, I chose Congee for  breakfast mainly, and Confinement meals for lunch and dinner. For lunch and dinner, you have a choice of Confinement, Western, Asian, Local cuisine etc to choose from.

Friends and relatives came to visit, and Baby was carted over whenever it was time for her to feed.

The wound hurt whenever I tried to get out of bed (so I was advised to roll over to the side and slowly get up sideways). They wrapped a Binder (SGD$59.00) around me - it was supposed to help with the wound and keep the wind out.

For Caesarean, the wound (later a scar) would be at the navel around, around 7-8cm long. I had to be hospitalised one more day, compared to 3 days if by natural birth.

Give baby a name. We would need to register their births within 14 calendar days and no later than 42 days. Registration can done at the hospitals they are birthed at, Immigrations & Checkpoint Authority (ICA) or online. You can also do so by downloading the "Moments of Life" app.

Finally, time for discharge we had to settle the bill at level 1. Remember - hospital bills and doctor's fees are separate amounts. Whenever you see comparison charts showing fees of giving birth in various hospitals, bear in mind that these are just hospital charges. Doctor's fees and anesthetics fees will double that amount.

There is a cap on how much you can pay out of MediSave. If you are applying for the Baby Bonus, $8000 will be credited to you within 3 weeks of application.

You may feel odd as you start walking. I felt like my insides were all jingly and loose. My Gynaecologist explained that it was normal - my organs were all stretched during pregnancy, it would take some time to regain normalcy. The Binder would help alot.

All the best for your birth journey.


(vi) The Mommyhood Series (iii) - Post Natal Massage by Schone Mama @ Takashimaya
(vii) The Mommyhood Series (iv) - The Accidental Babymoon (Pregnancy Travel Guide)
(viii) The Mommyhood Series (v) - The Endless Shopping List