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You better get comfy…..this is one LONG momma of a post….

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Warning!  This is a long post – so please excuse all the typos – it’s just way too long to edit – and there may be some side effects of drowsiness.

Happy Mother’s Day Amma

First of all, Happy Mother’s Day Amma – no snail mail card for you this year.  Hope you liked my small presentation.  To all of you reading, I had wanted to dedicate the blog to my mother but youtube took SO LONG to upload my video, I guess because of the size, so I had to end up emailing it to my mother.   I guess, in a way, it ended up being more special that way because I had the opportunity to see my mother’s expression as she watched the video because we were on a webcam call.  So here are the videos – you are ONLY allowed to watch the second one if you listen to the words carefully and NOT laugh at me hehe.  My good friends would know how crazy and silly I can be 🙂  For those who don’t understand tamil, the song in the first video is dedicated to mothers – the meaning is just so beautiful – basically saying that “mother” is everything.  I don’t think I would do it justice translating it. 

Race For The Cure 2008 – Completed

The “race for the cure” event took place yesterday and it was such a wonderful experience.  Since the starting line for the race was walking distance from home, we left quite late and reached there about 10 minutes before it started.  Before we started off from home, we managed to take the picture below 🙂 – I made the poster for my mother the night before with Elan’s artistic input.  Spot Divya 🙂

The crowd’s spirit was just infectious.  Thousands of people turned up to support the cause.  Just before the race I started, it got really emotional for me as I saw so many breast cancer survivors getting ready for the 5K walk too, as this cause is personal to me.  The walk itself was pleasant and we managed to complete it in 1 hour – which is not bad considering it’s so hard to move as a crowd in 1000s.  We were trying to zoom through the crowd.  Ofcourse I almost came in first except that I stopped to take this photo at the finishing line and so 1000s zoomed past me hehe

The whole experience was just very special for me – especially being able to complete it with Elan and Divya.  We headed to the booths that were set up providing various services and products like massages, popsicles, buns.  I would have liked to have gotten a massage but the queue was just too long.  So we settled for the popsicles and then made our way home. 

We were QUITE tired and just came home and lazed.  We were supposed to go shopping but we just were too tired.  Elan settled in for a 2+ hour nap and Divya must have been really tired from all that bobbing around in the backpack carrier that she had a 4 hour nap – ahhhh, heaven for me 🙂  I am not very keen on daytime naps as I feel like my day is being wasted so I was just happy to watch a little TV and surf the net.  In the evening, we met up with friends for a Cajun dinner after which they headed back to our place to relax and chat.  They ended up leaving around 1am which is when I finally got to “webcam” with my mum to wish her A Happy Mother’s Day and show her the videos. 

Today, was Mother’s Day here in the U.S. so my request for me to have the day “off” – so Elan was on duty the whole day.  I slept in (which is not a good thing since I got a huge headache which has still not gone away) – and while I was sleeping, Divya came into the room to throw my present at me – she (with some assistance) had bought me a pair of oven mittens as I only have an old one right now and keep burning my hands/arms when I bake so I’m thrilled with my present.  Ofcourse after that, she wanted to claim it as hers and was wearing it like normal gloves, running around the house.  I decided that I would go for not one BUT two movies today, one after the other, to treat myself – so I watched “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” followed by “Made of Honor” – not very great movies, but light-hearted.  Following a short stop at the supermarket, I finally got home.  Divya wasn’t very interested in seeing me – she had now a new friend, her Appu, whom she preferred to follow around.  I think Mother’s Day may have become a dreaded day by Elan hehe – so right now, here I am while Elan is trying to enjoy Sweeney Todd.

So, that was my mother’s day weekend, how was yours?

As promised, the story of the birth of my angel

Fast forwarding from the last post of my pregnancy……besides the usual aches and groans related to the last months of pregnancy, things were pretty quiet.  My belly was becoming HUGE – in the last few weeks before delivery, walking felt like I was in a marathon.  In the last month, I just could not take the food/salt restriction anymore so I had whatever I felt like having.  We were both (Elan in sympathy ofcourse) enjoying the nasi lemak, satay, hokkien mee, briyani…..The last few appointments with my doctor told me that things were on track – he said that the baby could still afford to gain a bit of weight so he insisted that I get a lot of bed rest (this obviously worried me too) – he even said at the last appointment before the delivery (2 days before she was born) that Divya’s head was “descending” and it looked like I would be going into labour soon.  So I got all hopeful and excited. 

On the 17th of September, I remember, Elan cooked dinner.  I was having some mild pains that night (not from his cooking ofcourse :p) – and I had one of my usual “loving” arguements with my mum.  She was supposed to come and stay that night with me – and there was some miscommunication and she didn’t end up coming to stay.  As it got later into the night, the pains started getting stronger and closer in time.  Ofcourse since I’d never really had any contractions before, I didn’t know if this was the real thing – and besides, I was trying to avoid going to the hospital too fast.  I HATE HOSPITALS!  So I decided to just go lie down and then WHOOSH my water bag broke – nah, I’m just kidding, my water bag never broke on its own (I was just trying to create some drama in my story). Anyway, Elan came to lie down to and we tried to time the contractions but I just couldn’t figure out when they started and ended – it was just like a mass of pain, but manageable.  I kept lying down and then sitting up repeatedly.  I just couldn’t get comfortable.  Elan got tired as it was already the early hours of the morning and fell asleep. 

I just kept moving around and couldn’t take the discomfort anymore so I decided to go into the living room.  Elan also woke up to keep me company – but I’m the kind of person, when in pain, just wants to be left alone unless I ask for something.  So he made me a MILO (hot chocolate drink) and just sat down with me.  And guess what I was doing?  Playing some video games on the TV (we were having some promotion on our Cable TV for some free video games channels).  Ofcourse Elan thought it was funny and that I was silly – hey, I was in labour!  And at least  it kept my mind of the discomfort. 

I think it was towards 4am when the pain started getting a bit stronger and Elan insisted that we go to the hospital.  My bags were already packed (with all the excitement, they had been packed more than a month before :)).  There was something so surreal about leaving our home – I turned around to look around at the house, knowing that the next time we were back here, we would be with a baby and life would never be the same.  We took a very slow drive to the hospital which was just about 10 minutes away.  I was feeling so hot (even though Elan says it was cool outside) so we drove with the windows down.  I called my mum to give her the update (she must have been kicking herself for not having stayed over) and told her we would call again later once we had settled in. 

Everyone and anyone seemed to be asleep in Singapore EXCEPT me, who was going to have a baby!  A baby!  It was like being in the movies when we arrived – Elan had to go park the car so I informed the nurse that I was in labour.  There was some excitement and someone was asked to bring a wheelchair – but I said, “Not me, I’m walking in and walking out of this hospital”.  When we got to the labour ward, the nurse on duty asked “Wah, twins ah” (translated from singapore english to normal english : means “wow, are you having twins?” – I guess that explains how HUGE my belly was.  To which, I calmly said “No, just one girl in there”.  I was checked into Hotel de Hospital Mt Alvernia. 

My gynae, from his years and years of experience and service, has a bit of an “influence” in the hospital so I got one of the better delivery rooms which had its own bathroom with a bathtub (which I would realise later would serve me no purpose).  I was prepped and checked by the nurses who were very kind – probably not wanting to mess with a woman who had a belly so huge that it could actually hurt them if I decided to use it as a weapon.  I was given the dreaded enema (inserted in the you-know-where-the-sun-don’t-shine place).  Let me tell you, it is no easy feat jumping off the bed with a big belly every few minutes to empty your bowels!  After that was all done, I was hooked up to the heart-rate monitor to check on Divya’s heartbeat.  At that point, one of the nurses did look a bit puzzled to see a drop in Divya’s heartbeat but said it’s normal some times and that we’d wait for my doctor.  He came in with his morning newspapers dressed casually and smiling from ear to ear.  After the pleasantries, he proceeded with his checkup this time.  He too was concerned with the decreasing heartbeat and said that he was going to break my waterbag – since I had not read much about this and had never heard anyone else’s experience about this, I had no idea what I was in for.  Some tool was used (I couldn’t see pass my belly anyway), and then I felt the most PAINFUL feeling ever – SO MUCH WORSE than the actual contractions.  I remember raising my back up as I just couldn’t take the pain – and now there was an annoying nurse in the room telling me to lie down AND calm down, she’s lucky I didn’t slap her.  She wanted to give me the gas mask but I refused it because I had just been told my friend, Fada, who had delivered a few days earlier that the gas mask made her vomit/want to vomit, I can’t remember.  So I endured and at the end of it, I heard the dreaded words “The baby’s heartbeat is dropping fast, we have to perform a c-section”.  

Elan had come back into the room and I just broke into tears for so many reasons.  I was terrified for my baby, my dreams of having a natural birth were dashed and I had no idea what really was happening.  Things moved really fast from there – papers were signed, I was prepped for surgery.  In Singapore, as far as I know (I could be wrong),  a lot of c-sections are performed under General Anaesthesia – and mine definitely was going to be since it was considered an emergency procedure.  I was honestly terrified – me being the person who is just afraid of being pricked by a needle.  I also had to remove all my jewellery – which was very emotional for me as it was the first time I had to remove my thali since my wedding and also the bracelet I wear (which was a present from my father to my mother when they got married).  Elan had already called my mum again and she was on the way to the hospital but I knew I wouldn’t be able to see her before the surgery. 

All I kept doing was praying – praying that everything would be ok, that my baby would be ok.  I kept looking at Elan’s face – I just wanted to be comforted.  I saw the love and worry in his eyes and I just wanted to hug him too and tell him everything would be ok.  He walked along the corridor with me as they wheeled me (ok, not me, but the bed I was on) into the elevator.  We said “I love you” to each other.  Elan says that he came into the elevator too but some parts of the whole experience was a blur.  I was crying so much, but there was a very kind nurse with me asking if it was my first pregnancy.  I was telling her that I was scared and that I hadn’t wanted a c-section.  And then she said one thing calmed me down a little “you want your baby to be ok, don’t you – this is all for your baby”. 

Getting off the elevator, I was wheeled through the doors to the surgery room.  Once again, surreal.  I have only seen operating rooms in the movies and had hoped I’d never have to see one for a long time, if ever at all.  It was a cold looking room and it felt really cold too, considering the sexy outfit I had on.  There were nurses and other people walking around the room, talking and preparing.  I just couldn’t focus on anything.  Then they lifted me onto the operating table (good thing they had some macho men carrying me – I pity them though hehe).  The table was extremely small and it almost felt like my tummy was falling off the table.  The people around me were quite nice – I guess seeing how scared I was. 

They started attaching all the monitors to me (it’s a good thing I was already knocked out when they put in the catheter and the tube down my throat!)  The anaesthetist then came in to inject my sleeping medicine into me.  My mum had told me about her experience before – so I knew that he would start asking me questions till I wasn’t answering anymore.  He asked me a whole lot of silly questions – and strangely enough, I remember the last question he asked me before I woke up next – it was “Are you Punjabi?”.  Hey, I was in too much pain to know whether it was a compliment or an insult. 

It is the scariest thing in the world knowing that you will be knocked out and won’t know how your baby is (especially since it was an emergency c-section) until you wake up next.  So for the next (I don’t know how long), I have no idea what went on, obviously – during that time, my little angel was coming into the world.  The next time I woke up, I was on the bed lying in the middle of a huge corridor with nurses walking past me AND ignoring me.  I remember feeling very drunk (on the drugs I guess), I was waving my hands around to get someone’s attention – I wanted to know how my baby was.  But everyone was just ignoring me and that was PISSING me off. 

FINALLY, my doctor came to the bed and I asked him how my baby was, was she healthy – and this was his answer, “don’t worry, she’s fine, she’s bigger than you lah” – HEY HEY HEY!  Firstly, that is just not possible, and secondly, fat jokes to a woman who has just gone through surgery is just asking for trouble!  Anyway, I was thrilled to hear that.  I’m not sure why I had to lie there aimlessly for awhile (I guess to make sure I was ok) – I couldn’t wait to see my baby, Elan and my mum.  But it was kind of nice lying there – it felt like being drunk during my partying days 🙂 – the pain meds must have been working well. 

After what seemed an eternity, I was rolled out – I almost felt like a celebrity when Elan and my mum rushed up to me – the first face I saw was my mum’s and this is what she said “you have a beautiful baby girl”.  I think my mum was more excited about seeing her grandchild than me hehe.  Behind her, Elan came up with a HUGE relieved expression.  Later on, he told me that even though he was the first one to see Divya (he had to count her fingers and toes), he couldn’t totally enjoy the moment as he was worried about me since I had not come out yet (that was so sweet).  

So, my little angel, Divya, with a length of 20.9 inches and weighing a WHOPPING 9 pounds and 1 ounce (this would explain a lot of things – and my doctor had wanted her to gain more weight? – was he kidding?) was born around 7.30am (I am superstitious, I never give anyone the exact time) that morning – scoring 9 and then 9 again for her apgar tests.  I was so proud of her already 🙂 even though I still hadn’t seen her.  I was wheeled back to my room and settled back in – even with the pain meds, it was SO uncomfortable being carried from one bed on to the other. 

After that, FINALLY, the nurse knocked at the door and said “someone” was here to see me.  My excitement just couldn’t be contained.  I finally saw her 🙂 – I don’t remember crying or anything.  I think the drugs were having the “happy” effect on me and the first thing I said, while giggling, was “she’s fat like me” hehe (although I remember the word that I used to be chubby, but Elan insists I said fat).  She was really chubby and cute – she reminded of me of a little sumo wrestler.  And the other really really prominent features were her big nose and she had SO SO much hair – so much that the nurses had had fun oiling it (to help with the dry scalp) and combing it with a parting at the side hehe – it was so funny (this also happened every single day I was in the hospital – she was the most groomed baby in the ward). 

I couldn’t wait to hold her in my arms.  The nurse finally came back and asked me if I was ready to try to feed her – I couldn’t wait!  Divya had a fierce appetitle and seemed like a pro at breastfeeding.  The day was spent in a blur of feeding her, staring at her, having visitors – that started with my brother and sister-in-law, then my brother-in-law, aunties, sister-in-law, nieces, friends – I was just so proud to show off my little munchkin.  And when everyone finally left, it was the first time with just Elan, me and Divya – our little family for the first time that day. 

A lot of new parents in the hospital prefer for the child to be mostly in the nursery but we were happy having her with us a lot of the time (except for the changing of the diaper) – we had booked a room which had a sofa bed so Elan was able to stay all the nights I was in the hospital 🙂 – I told him I would have it no other way, I would have been too freaked out staying alone.  We were also extremely efficient in Divya’s feeding patterns – it was advised that I feed her once every 3 hours so we would call and bug the nursery staff if they hadn’t sent her to the room yet (they must have been waiting for us to leave). 

The next few days passed by in a blur with so many friends and relatives visiting.  I couldn’t wait to go home.  During this time, I had a new found deep respect for the nursing profession – not being able to do many thing myself, the nurses were so nice and patient with me – it is such a humble profession.  I cut down the pain medication dosage on the last day in the hospital and insisted on walking myself to the car (might have been a mistake).  It was quite painful and I felt very dizzy at times but I made it.  Elan, my mum, Divya and I would be going home together. 

It was the most special thing seeing Elan and my mum carrying Divya.  I was finally able to truly share her with them after having her “all to myself” for 9 months.  I was only sad that my father never had the opportunity to see his granddaughter – he would have absolutely doted on her.  Through this whole experience, Elan and my mum were my pillars of support – Elan being with me almost every single minute and my mum coming whenever she could escape from work (I think it was more for her granddaughter :)).    And so started our journey of life with Divya.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Monday, May 12, 2008 8:27 am

    I’m glad I got to be awake during my c-sections. I thnk it would be soooo depressing to be asleep during that!!

    We completely roomed in with our babies (at the hospital)… The only times they were in the nursery were when they did the nightly weight check, and I would sit there and ANXIOUSLY wait for them to BRING MY BABY BACK!… The nurses always tried to get me to let them take the baby for a while, so I could sleep, but I always refused… I even changed almost all the diapers myself (Joe did a couple, but I did most of them).

    Loved the videos… The first one was beautiful, and the second one made me smile. 😀 … Should teach that one to my kids! *rofl*

  2. Monday, May 12, 2008 8:27 am

    BTW, glad you had a great day!

  3. Monday, May 12, 2008 2:49 pm

    I’m glad that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!! We ended up going roller skating (yet again!) and stuffing ourselves with KFC after that!

    It is interesting looking back to the day our children were born, isn’ it. Both of mine were normal delivery. First one – I was in labour for 15 hours. 2nd one – I was in labour for 2 hours – he came out 10 minutes after I put myself on the delivery bed… and the anasthesist didn’t get a chance to come in before that for the epidural that I was demanding!!! Ha! Ha!

  4. Monday, May 12, 2008 8:48 pm

    The first video very sweet hor. And I love the song, the lyrics so touching. Actually, I have all his CDs. 😛

    And both of you holding the banner with Divya’s head sticking out from the flower very the cute.

    The second video can submit to Americal Idol. Fadelinah can join you since both of you really know how to work your cartoon voices. So ‘L’ucky!

  5. boiseangel permalink*
    Monday, May 12, 2008 10:14 pm

    @Julie : I couldn’t even get up much to change her diapers after the op – but it’s ok, coz I’m making up for it now 🙂

    @spillay : It is interesting thinking back to the “delivery’ especially when some things remain a blur memory.

    @blackcadillac : You ah Lamri!!! Very naughty! Don’t bluff – you don’t even understand the song – but the lyrics are very touching. And are you trying to make fun of my 2nd serious song? :p
    Wait till I come back to Singapore, you’re going to get a smack with the black umbrella!

  6. raggedyanne permalink
    Tuesday, May 13, 2008 3:07 am

    wow, this is truly a long one, i’m sure glad i got myself comfortable 😀

    the video’s very entertaining (what happened to the 1st one?) and abt the race.. what were you thinking, Bav??? you almost got 1st place!!!

    i truly enjoyed your birth story.. cewah! so action, wanna walk in and out of the hospital all by yourself! hehe

  7. Saturday, May 17, 2008 2:46 pm

    Very touching post Bavani. Enjoyed reading it. BTW have a little something for you at my space. Please stop by!

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