Preemie Scare

Day 29 – 15 May 2014 – 36 weeks
Our 29th day in the hospital and I’ve attempted walking to the toilet (finally) the last three days. My calves do not ache as much now as compared to my first walk but the feet is tingling with pins and needles. Still a little wobbly but I am sure I can walk properly by Sunday. I have to! Otherwise, I won’t be able to carry my baby out of the hospital man.

Been making lots of calls and texting everybody I needed to inform them about my discharge this Saturday! I should be home the whole of Saturday doing light work like packing in Faye’s little mittens, clothes, hat and swaddle for the delivery bag. Yet, making sure I don’t risk a sudden labour since I’ll be off the Ventolin drip at home.

On Sunday, I will have my maternity shoot! Thanks to all my friends who made such last minute arrangements for me. Florist, make-up artist, photographer, the stables and a couple more hands to help out during the shoot in case I cannot walk properly. Meyer won’t be able to handle both Ewan and Mummy at the same time. It’s great to have a big social circle and contacts who are willing to shift their time around to fulfil my last lap of the pregnancy. Plus a very big Thank You to my doctor who relented and allowed me to wrap up everything before Faye comes barging into our lives.

I even made an appointment with my aunt at the hairdresser’s to have a cut and wash after the shoot! Actually, just thinking about this Sunday morning’s plan makes me breathless already. Whatever it is, no matter how draining it is going to be, I must do it. Otherwise, I will live a lifetime of regret.

I did my studio shoot with Ewan at 34 weeks (f8angels) and a home shoot at 38 weeks (Moments by Edmund) in 2012. I could have missed Faye’s shoot because of this admission. So I will not let this opportunity slip by since I was bestowed a weekend of freedom! Reminiscing the pregnant me with Ewan:

Day 28 – 14 May 2014 – 36 weeks

I couldn’t sleep since I woke at 3.30am to pee again. So I usually catch up on my sleep after breakfast at 8am. I would be awake from the time I pee all the way to breakfast. Sometimes that could be 1am. I would love to have a good night’s rest but it’s becoming a horrible routine and giving me dark eye rings. Leaked a bit again after the pee. 

My night nurse came to sponge me this morning and revealed to me about Tsakok’s plan. She is leaving for her holiday next Wednesday, 21st of May. She said Tsakok was looking at the calendar after seeing me last night and will probably let me discharge this weekend. Faye’s delivery date will be  an elective date next week unless she decides to come into labour earlier than expected.

Since she is flying off next Wednesday, she is thinking of planning an 18th May delivery so that she can watch over my postpartum. Alternatively, Dr Lai will take over the deliver if it’s after the 21st of May. The two doctors will have a discussion after my ultrasound by Friday. I am prioritizing my list of to-dos carefully and I have decided to give precedence to taking my maternity photos. My pony is just sitting in the stables waiting for me!

Faye is currently breeched in this manner – she sits bottom first with thighs against the chest and feet up to the ears. This is the most common type of breech presentation. Among the different breech births, Frank breech or Extended breech offers the most favourable position and complications in such deliveries are almost mil. A full-term frank breech delivery can be without any risk or complications if allowed to take place naturally. Therefore, Tsakok’s decision is to go natural if my cervix does open without much problem and Faye can just pop out. Otherwise, a c-sectioned will be opted.

I had been leaking puddles yesterday and today. There is a need for antibiotics infusion since my urine test came back with positive infection, I was also given an Iron infusion this morning to get me ready for excessive bleeding from delivery. I had postpartum haemorrhage with seizure on Ewan’s sixth day of birth so we are making precautions for now.

We have also started on physiotherapy for my legs to prepare for my one day discharge this weekend. 

Day 27 – 13 May 2014 – 36 weeks

It’s Vesak Day! 

The day seemed uneventful and I was excited to getting home leave this Saturday to Ewan’s mass birthday party and Parent-Teacher Meeting in school. I was striving to have the drip removed by tomorrow so that we can monitor my ability to head out for three hours on 17th of May.

I had an early morning leak. Just a teeny weeny bit so *shrugs* no big matter. Then at 1400 hours, I had another leak which led to a puddle through my underwear and onto the bed. Half of me went, “Oh Yes!” while the other half went “Oh Damn!”

Soon after, I started having the worst backaches ever. The pain started on my upper back and slowly creeped towards my lower back and shoulders. The abdomen started aching too which led to a full body ache. Ache is an understatement I tell you. I was pleading for help while I was being monitored on the CTG. The nurses and doctor always reminded me that I have to alert them whenever I get backaches because it could be a sign of labour. I was in such discomfort and agony, I pleaded for the nurses to call my doctor in to look at me. I was certain I want Faye out immediately. I do not want to wait no more. The pain was tormenting me. 
Tsakok came into my room looking chirpy and to lighten the mood after seeing my distressed face, she took my mobile phone and told the nurse, “Hey come! Help us take a photograph!” I’m like Uh-Huh Ok… I’ll smile for the picture! But I was already close to tears. As I had predicted, she will not deliver me. I was given two jabs while I waited for her arrival. One progesterone and the other, mmm what was the other… now I cannot remember because I was too focused on my pain in my body. They were useless! No help at all and I suffered two hours until she came and jabbed me Valium. It was then I settled down and fell into a one hour nap. Her plan had always been very clear. She’s been waiting to keep Faye in for as long as possible but I am also very tired of all these bed-resting.

I hadn’t felt any contractions the whole while and the CTG tracings was returning results that invalidated labour. So, blood tests were ordered for results to be back by the night itself and she will come back to have me scanned. 

Her last words before she left, “Yours is not a classic case”. Breaking the Da Vinci Code, “Don’t be anxious. Let me check everything properly first before deciding if you should be delivered tonight.

She came back close to 2300 hours. Her conclusion to my intense back and abdominal aches pointed to the opening of my cervix. It measures at 1.2cm now. She wants to let me dilate at my own pace. Induction is out of the question now since my contractions was not extreme and Faye is looking just fine. “Just a couple more days to week 37. Let’s just wait alright? Take each day as it is.” she announced, quite firmly. 

I did not experience this when I had Ewan. The pain during dilation I meant. Meyer reminded me that the dilation might take forever again, just like Ewan. So, it may take up to a week for me to go into true labour if I could even reach 4cm. Yes, Faye is breeched but my doctor is still talking about the possibility of a natural birth. She wants nature to decide. She amazes me everyday! 

I have decided, if I were to choose just one day of home leave, I’ll go for my maternity shoot. As reluctant as I may be, I will forgo Ewan’s exciting events this Saturday and leave the day to Daddy and Ewan to enjoy on their own. 

After Tsakok left, I had the urge to poop! She had said to try walking to the toilet for that to help with the constipation. I was So eager to get out of bed! Little did I know, my calf muscles failed me immediately. I couldn’t stand for more than a minute without Meyer holding onto me and me onto my drip stand. I made a very wobbly walk to the toilet and that was like a remarkable feat! I couldn’t stand up from the toilet seat thereafter and once I reached my bed, my calves were aching as if they just returned from a five kilometres run after 10 years of inactiveness. Now, I’m really afraid I can’t carry Faye and walk out of the hospital if I don’t start exercising those limbs. What will tomorrow bring…the 14th of May 2014?

Day 26 – 12 May 2014 – 36 weeks

Thank you Jasmine for buying me facial masks to beat the dryness off my skin. The constant air-conditioning is really making me peel quite badly. She even went shopping and got my second Muji diffuser to hydrate the room a little. Appreciate it a lot. Thank you for always being there for your friends.
Saddest thing about the last week was, I haven’t been sleeping well at night. Last night was the worst. I managed only 2.5 hours of sleep. I was awake from 2am to 7am just because I woke up to pee. I don’t understand why I get so woken up whenever I had to pee in the middle of the night and it’s not like I didn’t clear my bladder before I sleep every night. The dark eye rings … hoping it’ll be save from these masks. 
Tsakok came right after my CTG tracings that returned three contractions in an hour. She was really pleased to see me MASKED and was suggesting I get a proper facial treatment in the hospital.

She caressed my belly and decided to maintain the dosage at its current 25ml but I am confident we can drop more the next few days. I subtly hinted that I’d like to go for a three-hour home leave this Saturday for Ewan’s Teacher-Parent Meeting and his birthday bash with his May 2012 toddler playmates. They are all turning two this month and we’ve chosen the middle of May to celebrate their Terrific/Terrible Twos. I would really like to be there. Right after that, I’ll come straight back to the hospital and rest. I don’t think that’s too tall an order! 

She acknowledged my request and MAY make it come true! Anyhow, it’s only going to be three hours. 

Day 25 – 11 May 2014 – 36 weeks

Decreased my drip dosage again today to 25ml (gradually from 55ml in a span of 5 days). Let us hope by sometime next week, we could do away with the drip. Since I checked into the hospital, I’ve been poked and re-poked with new IV lines with a total count of 10 times to date. They say we need to keep infection at bay so this is absolutely necessary.

My contractions are feeling more like tightenings now with the GTN patch. It doesn’t constrict my breathing, strain my heart or make me feel like blood is shooting up my head now. Once in a while but not as often as before. 

We did a measurement with a measuring tape today. At 32weeks, my belly was 28cm along the linea nigra. Today, it measured 32cm. Good job on the growth rate Faye. However, it seems like we will definitely have to go through with a C-Sectioned procedure again because your breeched position doesn’t seem to be improve. Doctors aren’t optimistic about the possibly of you engaging into the right spot.

Wishing for a good CTG tracing later! 

Day 24 – 10 May 2014 – 36 weeks

Right. So it seems like I’m leaking amniotic fluid again despite the bedrest. Had a leak early this morning after I was done doing my number one. The nurse recorded it in the log book but I was sure it was just excess pee. 

Doctor wanted to make sure so she did a quick swap test. Alas… It’s amniotic fluid. 

The ultrasound showed no more signs of bleeding behind my placenta which is good news but I’m still looking rather pale (suddenly). I told her Ewan just came and left. Basically, interacting with him for an hour drained me dry. Whatever explanations I gave, it wasn’t good enough. She’s going to arrange for a haemotologist to see me. She’s a Perfectionist. Won’t take “probably” for an answer. 

Yawns. I think I might sleep the afternoon away. 

Oh no wait! I can’t sleep! I’ve arrange for a mani/pedi hydrating mask session for my Mother’s Day treat! Daddy’s paying *grins*

For S$60, I had June from J.C. Workshop (8338 7255) engaged for a session in the hospital. She helped me a great deal with my flaking skin – clearing my cuticles, filing chipped nails and masking my hands and feet. I’m literally flaking from 576 hours of air-conditioning. My skin is so dry it snow-flakes when I scratch them. The mani/pedi is more inclined to skin repair intervention than a pampering session. 

June was pretty upset about my dry peels that she shoved me (for keeps) her foot and hand creams, together with cuticle oils just to make sure I don’t get into more skin problems. I appreciate her kindness and love her bubbly stature. 

Glad that I’ve checked this off my list of to-do!

Day 23 – 9 May 2014 – 35 weeks

Treatment Plan from Today:

– lowering the drip dosage (it’s 30ml now!)
– will attempt to lower the dosage until I can do without it
– continue with my 24hr power patch
– if contractions can be controlled, lower the dosage of the patch too
– target to allow me to go on home leave or even the possibility of a discharge

I plead that my body wouldn’t get used to the patch like it did with the drip. If it does, its magic may wear off and then we will be back to square one.

There’s a whole line-up of events I want to fulfil before Faye arrives:
1) My maternity shoot with Comel
2) Ewan’s Parent-Teacher Meet
2) Ewan’s mass second year old birthday with his little friends
3) Ewan’s fairy tale party in school

He will be going on a school excursion to the Underwater World and Siloso Beach for a lunch picnic in a couple of weeks. I would have volunteered as a parent for the excursion! Meyer said, “Oh Please! Don’t make the teachers worry about your safety, They’ll freak out if something happens to you!”

Whatever it is, I love what I hear from Tsakok today! I hope I won’t jinx it by saying all these because whenever something good happens, something bad follows…

Day 22 – 8 May 2014 – 35 weeks

What is worse? Contraction Pains or Headaches.

I think I’d rather the contraction pains.

I’m on GTN patch already. This morning’s contractions were between 1.5 to 5min. Initially, I was really excited because I can start relying on just a simple transparent sticker on my belly and maybe (just maybe) be taken off the drip permanently. Can you spot it just below my Toco CTG belt? Amazing what this little sticker can do and it lasts 24 hours.

This Nitroglycerin patch is a muscle relaxant. It works by being converted in the body to a chemical called nitric oxide. This chemical is made naturally by the body and has the effect of making the veins and arteries relax. I read that it should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits to the mother outweigh any risks to the developing baby. As with all the other medications I had been administered. 

Headache comes with the use of this patch and I am suffering from a bad one for half a day now. Oh gosh… I really dislike headaches. With sensitive skin that came with my pregnancy, I am having some kind of itching and reddening at the patch application site as well. 

I heard from my doctor that this GTN patch is also used on patients with heart tightening issue or when a placenta is stuck in the womb which cannot be discharged naturally during delivery, they use it as a smelling agent for the mothers. When the mothers smell it, their uterus relaxes and then the placenta comes right out.

I am now riding on headaches rather than contraction pains. I really do not want to pop another pain relief medicine just to take that headache away. Now, tell me my fellow YL-ers… does Peppermint EO trigger off contractions? I cannot remember. Boo Hoo… Otherwise, I don’t know how many Panadols I might need to pop!
Day 21 – 7 May 2014 – 35 weeks

Can’t get to sleep before writing my part of the day. It is just the way I tick. If I have a to-do list to complete and I don’t, I won’t be able to retire. All these writings on Premmie Scare is for the sake of Faye and her keepsake. Loving her and wanting her to know who much we both have gone through to make this happen. She’s been strong and I’ve been trying to be patient. 

Good sleepy day. After two nights of intense labour pains and contractions, I was in disbelief to get through last night with no horrific incidents. There were no pains nor contractions that jolted me from my sleep which was quite rare. Thankful I must say. 

I decided to be good and take all the treatments given to me no matter how much I hated to be sedated. The Valium pill makes me really tired. Its main function is a muscle relaxant to de-stress my uterus but acts as a sleeping pill as well. The sleeping pill part puts be off initially because I don’t really want to be dependent on it. However, I realised it helped my painful contractions a whole lot. 

So Valium it is every night. It doesn’t really wear off until about 20 hours sometimes. I slept the whole day today. Shiok you may say but I am a do-er; not a sloth.

Doc is readjusting my treatment. The drip dosage has gone down from 55ml to 40ml today and I’m hoping to go down more to a point where I don’t have to depend on it any further. I have seven needle holes on both arms right now from the drip,w which needed changing every three days. Ya! My kind of tattoo. Just that they looked like venom bites and not cool like daddy’s.

I am looking forward to the day where I can say goodbye to my best friend. Maybe, just maybe then I can have my maternity shoot. If I can’t get rid of it, I don’t think I can bring her along for my shoot. 

If you know me, I love planning early for events and stuff. I went to visit Comel at Horsecity and decided to hire him for my maternity shoot. Ewan will be able to mount onto Comel for a ride and I’d be able to portray my affinity with Faye since she will be born in the year of the Hourse. My date with Comel was actually on May 2nd 2014 with a customized maternity gown from USA. Alas, everything is now put on hold. They are all waiting for me to say, “Let’s go ahead with the shoot!” Horsecity even made special arrangements for a female horse handle for us since my gown is revealing. 

Hoping for the best that I can fulfil this shoot. It’s never too bad to dream, even if it was wishful. If I can keep Faye till 37 weeks, I’ll ask for permission for the shoot!

The maternity gown is really very beautiful. It was made-to-measure and what a pity I won’t be able to put it on for a momentous shoot with Faye in my tum tum.

Day 20 – 6 May 2014 – 35 weeks

Tough night and a sticky situation. Normal heart rate is 60-80. With Ventolin it should hit a max of 120. The machine says I’m 136 with the increased dosage. A manual count reads 125-128. 

If we decrease the Ventolin dosage, it will lower my heart rate but contractions will be more distinct and regular since I’m already contracting every 20-30min with the current dosage.  

So the head nurse came and gave me a quick check. She decided we cannot increase anymore since my heart rate is higher than normal. We have to keep it at 55ml and then hope for the best!

Then at 2315hrs, I decided to try pooping. It took me one whole hour to clear my bowels. This is the worst constipation I’ve ever experienced. It was so painful I had to call for help. My hands were clenching onto both sides of the bars by my bed and shivering from trying. Yet I can’t push too much, afraid it might affect my contractions. My nurse had to used an ice cream stick to help me! Goodness gracious… I had to do my yoga breath as if I was in labour. It was so so painful. 

They stopped my contractions monitoring at 0245hrs and then I asked to clear my bladder because Faye was pressing on it. I spent the next two hours riding regular painful contractions again. The next I looked at the time, it was already close to 0500hrs. I managed only 2.5hrs of sleep the whole night.

Well done May! I hate it when I can’t sleep at night and this is one of my worst. 

I can’t wait for my scheduled ultrasound at 1800hrs later. Faye, I hope you are plumped up and lungs-ready because I’m ready to meet you. 

Durian they say could do the trick? Daddy bought me six puffs from Goodwood last night. Will finish them up before we go for the scan later!

I got up and stretched to see my tracings at 0545hrs since the night nurse simply left me to fend for myself! I have never seen such horrible readings before. It looks too scary not to alert her. Transferring to labour ward for closer monitoring. Half hoping it’s false alarm after I saw an empty incubator while wheeling into the labour ward, half hoping baby can be delivered. How contradicting!

I was in the labour ward by 0600hrs and Tsakok came down by 7-nish. Contractions were still hard and painful. She gave me the Valium by injection (I was suppose to take it everynight but I skipped last night thinking I really didn’t wanna depend on sleeping pills). Got told off because its function is to relax my uterus for the night in case the drip doesn’t do its job. 

The jab kicked it almost immediately and the tracings quietened down. Even for Faye’s. It was as if she went to sleep immediately after Valium. 

I still felt pain here and there but it slowly wore off which was a relief. My nurse brought the Cordlife packages over from my ward to the labour ward. Tsakok wasn’t happy when she saw it and said, “I’m not delivering her today! Take it back.”

My scan with Dr Lai wasn’t due till 1800hrs but Tsakok called him at 0600hrs to get him down as soon as he can so that we know if Faye is ready for birth. 

We even discussed about the possibility of incubation in nicu just to take precautionary measures. She is suggesting we move to SGH if needed for the incubation to lower down any costs involved. Per day in an incubation costs $2000 to $3000! I agreed with her when she said we shouldn’t go to KKH because of you-know-why if you’ve gone through the KKH experience. As for NUH, there hasn’t been an concrete feedback about how equipped they are with incubated babies. So SGH would be our best bet IF Faye really needed intervention after birth.

We will be checking on rates between our current hospital and SGH because if I were to go to SGH as private, we are not sure how little (or great) the price difference might be. This isn’t claimable by any insurance we have either so we need to plan carefully. 

The ultrasound: Breeched, Cervic Okay, Amniotic Fluid at 7.7 and Faye is +/- 300g from 2kg. 

Did a quick check online, babies at 35 weeks should be around 2.3kg. So if Faye is tipping towards the +300g, she would be 2.3kg as researched. Normal. But if she is -300g then…

Everyone’s main concern is just her lungs. 

My treatment will be altered slightly since the drip may not be able to increase any further until my heart get used to the medication again. So my doctor has arranged for a patch that lasts 24 hours should I start contracting again with intervals of 10 minutes or less. 

It’s been two nights of painful contractions. I’m a little scared when night falls tonight. 

It’s 1500hrs now and the good news is, Valium has done its job. No contractions nor pain till now. Taking each day as it is and my doc is making double efforts to keep Faye inside me with whatever medications she thinks I would need. She is not letting Faye out no matter what to avoid all the incubating issues. 

Day 19 – 5 May 2014 – 35 weeks

Serious contractions last night from 9pm to 12am. So much so my ventolin dosage was increased by 15ml within 3 hours when the usual dosage increase should be 5ml at a time.

Aren’t you an eager little one. You scored 100 over 100 on the contractions scale each time! An A-Star student. 
9 – 9.40pm: contractions every 7 minutes 

Increased Ventolin dosage

9.40 – 10.40pm: 8 contractions

Increased Ventolin dosage

11pm: abdomen pain, backache and pain during urination

Increased Ventolin dosage

From 35ml of Ventolin, it was increase to 50ml. 

CTG monitoring stopped at 12am and I went to sleep pretty quickly with the sleeping pills but I could feel contractions throughout the night. I was too tired and knocked out to call for the nurses. 
Woke at 7am for another round of CTG but the tracings still returned contractions every 10 minutes.

Tsakok came at 8.30am. The earliest ever. She talked about c-section and ordered for an ultrasound by today to check on Faye’s weight. Took my blood and conducted lots of tests to ensure an delivery wouldn’t pose any issues if need be. Then two extra dexmethasone jabs today to develop immature fetus lungs. 
She’s always been cautious so I’m not very worried we might deliver this week.
When she left, I asked my nurse if she thought my doctor was just being cautious or I could really deliver this week. She agreed that I might not be able to wait till full term and urge Meyer to bring the Cordblood package in for standby. I even had to sign the consent form for baby’s vaccination in case of an emergency delivery. 

Their main concern is the danger that comes with the emergency c-sect due to the retroplacental clot I have in the womb.
I’ve always been asking Tsakok what each medical term meant when she spoke to my nurses. Actually, I prefer to be well-informed but maybe sometimes it’s wide not to know everything. 

The Ventolin dosage was increase by another 5ml this morning. That made a jump from 35ml ro 55ml in 24 hours.

Day 18 – 4 May 2014 – 35 weeks

I had been feeling very tired. Even with my morning nap after breakfast today, I couldn’t keep awake after lunch. I knew something was wrong. It isn’t normal at all. On normal days, I feel more alive and never really needed the naps.

When Tsakok came today, she informed me of my blood test results taken yesterday. It shows that I am anaemic and probably the reason I am feeling worned out. The better news is, the test results seem to show that some blood clots are dissolving on its own inside me now. However, we won’t be able to tell how much is being dissolved. We are hoping for the best and making sure the jabs continue to run daily to keep things stable inside.
Why so many problems! Please babyF. Please keep safe and gain that weight you need to prepare for a healthy delivery. 

Day 17 – 3 May 2014 – 35 weeks

First day of the 35th week. That’s a big consolation from bed resting. Today’s been a lethargic and lazy day. Last night was the best sleep I’ve ever had. Yet, I knocked out again soon after breakfast. I’ve been spending my mornings sleeping till lunch at 12pm, no matter if the night had been a good or bad night. Wonder why I’ve been feeling as tired as I’ve been. 

I had three knocks on my door this morning. Two of which I slept through the visit. One was my doctor, who came in and whispered me back to sleep as she did her checks. Second was a nurse who came to prick me for blood. I was that tired… I did not stir. The third I had to wake because they were visitors. 

A very slow day. I blame it on the exhilaration from the aftermath of a lovely party. The week is going to be slow and mundane again…

Day 16 – 2 May 2014 – 34 weeks
So. What is causing my uterus to be so irritable? 
Retroplacental Clot.

Some of the symptoms and signs of moderate to severe placental abruption include:

  • Bleeding
  • Continuous abdominal pain 
  • Continuous lower back pain 
  • Painful abdomen (belly) when touched 
  • Tender and hard uterus 
  • Very frequent uterine contractions 
  • Fetal distress – for example, abnormal heart rhythm. 

In some cases, bleeding may occur but the blood may clot between the placenta and the wall of the uterus, so vaginal bleeding may be scanty or even non-existent. This is known as a retroplacental clot and that’s me. I haven’t bled a single time this pregnancy but doc had always noticed some clot around my placenta. My symptom is only uterine contractions which can be controlled. Thank goodness!

She once said that my placenta had prematurely detached from the wall but had been treating me in her clinic quite closely. My only worry is, it may interfere with babyF’s supply of oxygen and nutrients, which the placenta provides from my bloodstream through the lining of the uterus. Gosh… I really want her to be healthy (and normal). Complications in severe cases can include:

  • Decreased oxygen to the baby, which could lead to brain damage 
  • Stillbirth 
  • Maternal blood loss leading to shock 
  • Emergency hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) if the bleeding cannot be controlled 
  • Maternal death from severe blood loss

Don’t they sound scary? I would like to believe my risk is low or moderate since babyF’s heartbeat and movement always came back with positive results. Both mother and baby are monitored 3 times a day – morning, day and night. It’s usually my contractions that caused lots of worry but babyF’s readings always comes back good.

In most cases, doctors don’t know the exact cause or causes of placental abruption. It is thought that an abnormal blood supply in the uterus or placenta may play a role, but the cause of the suspected abnormality isn’t clear.

Some of the known causes of placental abruption include:

  • Abdominal trauma – an injury to the pregnant woman’s abdomen may tear the placenta from the wall of the uterus. Examples of events that may cause this type of injury could include a car accident, assault or fall. 
  • Uterine decompression – this is a sudden loss of amniotic fluid from the uterus, which can suck the placenta from the uterus wall. Possible causes of uterine decompression include the birth of the first twin (or multiple) or rupture of amniotic membranes when there is excessive amniotic fluid.

My amniotic fluid count had dropped drastically at one point. It was also the reason I was admitted immediately. I am thankful that the bed rest had at least brought my count up to 8 today. 

Day 15 – 1 May 2014 – 34 weeks

It is May! Needless to say, I love the first day of May. Today is extra special because besides it being our 7th Wedding Anniversary (known to be that itchy year), my mummy girlies threw me a party! 
How can I not doll myself up for the day right? So I powdered and brightened my face with make-up that probably expired long ago. I haven’t been making up much and if I am not wrong, my eye-shadow is already 4 years old. Anyhow, it still did its job. I looked much better than the scary panda-eyed Me last night.
Whenever Ewan comes for a visit, my CTG tracings will look like it went through air turbulence. I expected the same results for today and waited to be punished with a higher dosage of medication. Surprise Surprise! The readings were all good! My doctor knew about my party and waited for it to be over before coming to check on me. We were all happy to see small waves rather than tidals. My contractions get worse at night but my last monitoring came back with good results too! I simply cannot believe it. This little girl’s behaving very well today. I think she enjoyed herself thoroughly too. A party lover like mummy =D
First of May is almost over *yawns* I shall retire with a smile. 

Day 14 – 30 April 2014 – 34 weeks

Two Weeks! The last day of April! I wonder if I know how to walk when I leave this bed some day. I am bored. Sometimes I wish I can press the call button for the nurse to wheel babyF in for breastfeeding. When I hear the babies cry for milk as they are brought from the nursery to their mothers, I felt a tinge of envy. But I know when the time comes, I would rather be sleeping and be bored all over again. 
As per the doctor, my CTG tracings are still very irritable with several contractions. It looks kindaf noisy. I had been saying No to sleeping pills (Valium) every night because I didn’t want to be dependent on it to get to sleep. However, Tsakok just gave orders that I take them every night from today because I haven’t been getting the deep sleep and rest I needed to relax my body. Disappointed but I know I haven’t been resting well at night. My sleep had always been light here in the hospital. Meds, meds, meds and more meds. 
I guess we have to do whatever it takes to prevent babyF coming out too soon. She seemed too eager. Boxing and kicking me too. Another active one to handle! 

Day 13 – 29 April 2014 – 34 weeks

A surprise is coming to you soon! I need such activities to keep me going for the next couple of weeks! Something to look forward to as we count down the weeks to babyF’s arrival. I’m getting impatient! *hahaha* and we don’t even know when she’s going to make her debut. 

I napped the whole morning after breakfast while Meyer and Ewan were filming in Ichiro Film’s studio. When I woke, I changed out of my hospital gown and powdered my face to look presentable for the shoot. 

Ewan wasn’t exactly cooperative at the studio but when he came to the hospital, he was all smiles. I credit the good nap he had in the car en-route to the hospital. Ewan was happy to see the three uncles in my room, who worked so hard to get a good shot this morning. Nothing like a cranky boy they’ve described to me! 

My room was transformed into a studio with lights at all angles as if we were doing a big shoot! The setup probably took longer than the shoot itself. 

I am so thankful for Ichiro Film‘s support to this last minute arrangement. I gave them less than a week’s notice and they came up with a storyboard within 24 hours! That’s how fast creative minds work. I’ve always enjoyed the stories they tell, caught on tape to keep for life. How precious. Thank you Why Keen, Chris and Lance! We will have an Ichiro Film of our own to keep!

We are doing something cute this time round, to satisfy everyone’s constant questioning. This is made for my mummy pals who are throwing me a baby shower on May Day. They will have the honor to watch this video before everyone else! I am so excited! 

Oh wait! Before I end the post, thank you Meyer for all the hard work this morning with Ewan (including his puking incident) *big hugs*

Day 12 – 28 April 2014 – 34 weeks

I don’t know but it just makes me feel a little safer to know that the month of May is only a couple of days away. It’s like I’ve crossed a milestone. I can safely say I crossed over to the next month. In just a couple of days.
I haven’t introduced my night shift nurse to you have I? Well, she’s an experienced midwife and been nursing for all her life. However, her mannerism and actions give me the jitters whenever she’s taking care of me overnight. She doesn’t give me the confidence that babyF and I will be guarded from harm. 
On our first night with her, she put on my CTG monitor and switched it off one hour later like it is just Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Only when my doctor came to visit the next day that I was made known about bad contraction readings that came quite regularly. So if it had been bad, SOPs cannot be followed. Nurses will have to monitor me more than the usual one hour and decide if my medication needs to be bumped up.
Last night I had a scare. I contracted from 10pm to 12am at close intervals. I decided to call for her to put me on CTG monitoring. 40 minutes past and I cannot get to sleep. I usually am quite good with riding my contractions no matter how close they were because I’ve gotten used to them. Last night, it just felt different. The baby was moving a lot and I felt a little bit more pain than usual. On top of that, it started at 10pm.. we shouldn’t take any risk.
When she came back in to check on the tracings, I asked, “How is it?” I expected a concerned reply but all I got back was, “it looks ok”.
I was a little agitated and tired by now. I told her I felt pain and with one contraction every 10 minutes …. how is it that “it looks ok”? When I have four contractions in one hour, my day nurses would have been so worried they’d have called my doctor already. Yet she okay-ed to my readings of seven contractions per hour?
I began to wonder if I should make my own decision to increase my Ventolin drip dosage. Then again, she’s the medical practitioner. How can she not be able to make a simple decision to help me ride these contractions off safely especially when it started at 10pm? So, I asked her what she plans to do then …
She said she will continue to run the monitor a bit longer. I reminded her again that this pattern was on since 3 hours ago. Even if she continued for another hour, it’s still going to be the same and worse still, my contractions could come even closer than one every 10 minutes. I am definitely not ready to go into labour at 34 weeks?
I suggested we increased my medication to control the situation (since she seems to be afraid to make a decision). Her next respond was out of this world. Can you believe she said, “Also can”? I couldn’t help but stared at her.
Also Can!!!!! That’s like shirking responsibilities to make any decisions! If something happened to me last night because I decided to increase my medication, she could easily say, “Patient wanted it. Not me!”
I forced her to a corner and she agreed to up my dosage. I even had to remind her to check my blood pressure and heart rate because the medication’s side effects are heart palpitations and trembles. 
She went on to say she will have to disturb me more often from my sleep since we are upping the dosage because she needed to check on me regularly. Goodness gracious! What’s more important! Me being disturbed from sleep or baby having a risk of being born. She can’t seem to get her priorities right. I was disappointed.
I fell asleep after the contractions were stabilised by the medication. Thankfully!!! 
She came in the morning with a frown, “I was very concerned for you, you know?”.
I thought in my head, “Well thank you but on the first night when we met, you advised me to tell my doctor to let me go home, stop my drip, stop my jabs and my oral meds because my case is not serious. Now, after what happened last night you got frightened huh.”
I felt so frustrated the whole time. Yet, I don’t want to lodge a complain on a 60 year old woman who is still nursing for a living. What a dilemma. 
But I guess I need to be reminded the reason why I am separated from Ewan and Meyer in the first place. babyF needs a safe and relaxing setting to incubate healthily. I made know my concerns this morning to relevant people for the sake of our efforts to make her a full-term baby as much as possible.
Gosh I haven’t even shared in detail all the other things she said and do to make me lose my trust in her.

Last night was her third (or forth) night with me. It shall be her last. 

Day 11 – 27 April 2014 – 34 weeks

Did you know full-term pregnancy has a new definition? It is no longer 37 weeks but 39. I was looking forward to delivery once 17 May comes (our 37 weeks) but my doctor said nothing before 39 weeks if possible. Then I googled. 

A pregnancy is not full term until 39 weeks, according to a new set of definitions endorsed by the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. This represents an important change from the old understanding under which pregnancy was considered full term from 37 weeks to 42 weeks. 

Spending the next five weeks in my womb allows babyF’s brain and lungs to fully mature. Unless there’s a medical reason to intervene earlier, I guess my doctor won’t allow a scheduled c-section delivery.

The rate of early delivery has risen because the risks are not widely understood, because births are scheduled for reasons of health-care provider convenience, and because estimated due dates are often miscalculated, resulting in the mistaken belief that a baby is to term when it really is not yet. These risks include problems with breathing as well as developmental issues.

The new definitions should encourage physicians to practice greater patience around the end of pregnancy. In most cases, spontaneous labor is the best way to determine the healthiest time for birth.

Day 10 – 26 April 2014 – 34 weeks
I haven’t had a bath since I first checked into the hospital. The nurses had been dry-cleaning me daily. Unfortunately, they cannot dry-clean my hair! I am stuck in bed and resigned to my fate of dry tangled hair. 
Then a glimmer of hope came sprinkling down like gold dust when the nurse told me they have a portable hair wash basin! It was donated by a previous long-stayer who bought her hairdresser in to have her hair washed on a regular basis. The hospital even has contacts to hairdressers that we can call to give us a good scrub in bed. 
Look at me! Enjoying my hair wash after 9 days of dull knotty mess. If you don’t want to spend extra money for a mobile hairdresser, husbands can do the job too *smiles*

Fresh and ready to take on another week in the hospital. Till the next wash and blow! Thanks Daddy Meyer for the finishing touches.

Day 9 – 25 April 2014 – 33 weeks

EWAN! My First-Born! The reason I cannot live by each day missing out on his life. I cannot get past the notion of not painting abstract art with him or taking a simple bus ride as a family. All these make me happy. Yes even the ability to clean your child’s poo poo can be a joy when it is taken away from you totally. I haven’t seen him for a couple of days now. In fact, I am already feeling like I am missing out on all the fun he is having since he started school. 

I became a Stay-At-Home-Mum because I want to be part of his growing up. I wanted to be the main contributor in guiding him through all his milestones. My first trimester with babyF got me down and I did not have the means to engage him as much as I did before. I needed to be a mother to babyF as well and help her thrive inside me. That is how we decided that school would be the best alternative for Ewan. We used to hit the parks, go for train rides to nowhere, lunch out at shopping malls, swim, socialise at parent-and-child programmes and just be crazy. But all these had to be shelved when my body surrendered to puking at the start of our blessed (second) pregnancy.

As soon as I was back on my feet, I took over all my responsibilities as mother from the grandparents. I found immense joy in just picking Ewan up from school! Seeing him running into my arms and screaming at the top of his lungs were pure luxury. I missed having play time with him. I envy his teachers so much because they get to see him develop day by day in his speech, social skills,  motor skills and milestones. I envy them because they took away my opportunity to teach him. 
That said, I am very thankful for their commitment and love towards my little chatterbox. We reluctantly switched Ewan from half-day school to the full-day program because I needed to be hospitalised (from over-indulgining myself in activities with Ewan). The school accommodated our request to have him start almost immediately so that we do not have after-school care issues to worry about. 
His teachers really touched my heart when they decided to make me this Get Well card. I was close to tears when Meyer sent me a picture of the card with Ewan’s pictures printed in it.

His teacher did not stop at the card! I received a touching video of Ewan singing “I Love You” to me! Did I already say I haven’t seen him for days now? She added, “Little things to brighten up your day. Have a good rest.”

All the songs Ewan used to sing, all the words he used to say, all the things he used to do were taught by daddy and I. Now, I do not even know he could sing a full song of Barney’s I Love You! His teacher even encouraged him to say “Mummy I love you” at the end of the video. I am very thankful for the care Ewan and I had been showered thus far (in school and in the hospital). We are so blessed.

I Love You from Liang May on Vimeo.

Day 8 – 24 April 2014 – 33 weeks

Have you ever wondered how to read the CTG tracings correctly? Well, most mothers never quite bothered. When we are put on the monitor, we will eventually be told either to go home to wait for labour or wheeled straight into a delivery suite. The nurses and doctors will do the deciphering of the charts and we simply follow instructions.
Only now, when I’m stuck here for God knows how long that I realise the importance of listening to my body and understanding the readings properly. So, here’s something to share with you ladies. Daddies! Good information too when you sit by your wives in the labour ward and watch the lines go up and down the chart. You can see for yourself if your baby is in distress (falls below or above the normal range) and the intensity of pain/contractions your wife is going through. If the nurses were busy and missed a bad reading, you are equipped to raise an alarm and keep them both safe.

So here goes! I have tried googling for answers on chart readings but they all churned up with very technical results. I am making this as layman as possible with my own tracings for the benefit of all. 

Fetal Heart-Rate: the top part of the tracing shows you the fetal heart-rate. A range between 120 to 165 is healthy and normal. We should be concerned with any readings that fall below or hit too high.

Fetal Movement: these small black squares you see give you an indication that your baby is moving.

Contractions: when there are no contractions, there should be a straight clean line. Small little peaks you see here mean the uterus is irritable. High sharp peaks mean your wife is have big contractions. The highest reading the chart picks up from our contractions is technically 125. That is what you will see when she is deep in labour, probably hitting off the charts with every minute. The tracings above showed that I contracted big time at 0400hrs this morning. It is not as worrying as the chart you will soon see below where I contracted at close regular timings.

Intervals: each column represents a minute so you can see from the chart how many minutes apart you are contracting if you ain’t counting.

These are my readings from 22 April 2014. That fateful 2000hrs monitoring when my Ventolin drip was removed for observations. The nurses and doctor were more concerned with this reading than the one above because the intervals are regular and much closer. Even though the peaks did not hit off the 100 mark, mid-peaks like these can be labour-inducing as well. So if you are not prepared to deliver because you are still too early for it, a drip would most likely be required to stabilise the contractions.

I was told babyF might be born if they hadn’t put me back on drip in time. It was that dangerous and that is why I’d like to share this chart-reading techniques with you. Some ladies may have such a high pain threshold that they feel no pain that came with these contractions.

Daddies! Great Knowledge, I lie you not! You will feel so empowered when you can break the code!

It had been a peaceful (boring) day for me. Let’s play I SPY from my bed!

Day 7 – 23 April 2014 – 33 weeks

Yesterday when Tsakok bravely announced that we could try without the drip I had been depending on since Day 1, I caught a glimpse of hope in her! We could go home! I was feeling all HOPEY that it could be this week. 

Just a couple of hours after the drip was removed, we did a CTG. The 2000-2100 hours tracings came back with undesirable results. My contractions hopped right back and this time with a vengeance. They were two minutes apart.. as if I was going into labour. The intensity increased too as if babyF was retaliating and wanted the drip back. She literally kicked up a storm inside me. 

The nurse kept coming in to check on me. She asked me to rate the pain on a scale of 10.  

Seriously. A lot of questions I received now are rhetorical. I have no answers for them. I am so used to big and tight contractions that cause me breathlessness. To a point, I am already accustomed to it. Ya there is some sort of pain but it became bearable after having to go through it daily. Two days ago I had a really big peak. I looked at the tracings and it read 90. The chart stops at the 100 marker. I almost hit the roof off and yet found it bearable! 

Anyways, the labour threatening contractions at regular intervals of two minutes had me put back on drip. If I am so dependent on it, how to go home ah? 

Tsakok said, “Forget about going home already. It’s not that we didn’t try. We did but looks like it’s not going to happen.”

I need the drip indefinitely. 

I am having an itch issue on my butt now from all the daily jabs. It got so bad the nurses couldn’t really find a clear spot to give me my progesterone booster. The medicine they’ve been applying for me isn’t working either. So, my dear doctor went out to purchase a bottle of 云南白药 (Yun Nan Bai Yao Tincture) for me. She used it to rub my butt after every jab in her clinic and the results were immediate. My usual sensitive skin will itch from every jab but once she rubs this in, I don’t get any rashes at all.   

I requested for a bottle to ease my current itch and she offered to purchase it for me. She said there’s only one place to buy it from that is safe. She added that the 云南白药 meds are actually advised to be taken orally but it is harmful for the body. She studied the ingredients of the medicine and if taken orally (in her opinion), it can be harmful/poisonous. So this herbal tincture is the only safe alternative and only if she purchased it from the right supplier. I feel so blessed. 

It is a formula for bruises, contusions, injuries, wounds, swelling and pain due to blood stagnation, rheumatism and numbness, pains in bones, muscles and sinew, pain due to arthritis, chilblain, clears heat, resolves toxins and rheumatic pain. Sounds like a medication for the elderly huh *hahha* and ya, she says she uses it for her aches. But hey, it works for my itch too!

Day 6 – 22 April 2014 – 33 weeks

Two doctors saw me today – Dr Maurine Tsakok and Dr Lai Fon Min. What a privilege and I enjoyed my sessions with them today because we can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.

Tsakok used a measuring tape to measure my belly and it read 28cm. At this point of my pregnancy, baby should be higher with a vertical measurement along the linea nigra of 32cm. Nevertheless, it is already a great improvement from before I started bed-resting. She still believed the old-school methods were more accurate. Measuring tapes and using her hands to detect baby’s position by touching my belly.

It seems that rest is all I needed. No driving, no frustrations, no physical activities with Ewan, no long walks, no nothing. Contractions have lessened from the forth day. The daily Salbutamol drip and Adalat pills seem to be working. They were given to relax the uterus. Even though I still get big contractions a couple of times per day, the regularity has dropped significantly. So, Tsakok decided to finish up this 4th bag of drip today and monitor for 24 hours without it. She wanted to see if my CTG tracings remained just as good (with little contractions) when the drip is off. It’s been 4 hours since we stopped the drip and unfortunately, I can feel the contractions coming back again. 
Tsakok requested for Lai to come in for a detailed scan with me. Tsakok will be out of the country from 21 May to 3 June and Lai will be delivering babyF should I be in labour during that window. I appreciate her roping Lai in because then he will know my history and make a sound decision on the birth process – whatever suits me best. I have decided to leave it to the doctors to decide on my mode of delivery. 
I was excited to see babyF on the big screen again! 
The results were pleasing to my ears. 
She is close to 2kg now and all her organs are looking fine. My amniotic fluid remained at 6 counts which meant it did not leak any further from 2 days ago. He also checked the length of my cervix and it is still long. That meant that my contractions, no matter how big it had been, hasn’t affected the opening of my cervix. That also meant I might have to have another c-sectioned delivery.
I am 30 minutes into my first CTG without drip and the tracing has indicated 3 peaks already. The nurse just dampened my spirit by adding that we might have to put the drip back once this is over. *bleh* We’ll look at the tracings again later and discuss.
Flowers and Ewan to round out my night. Poor boy being very tantrumy from insufficient sleep since he started full day school. Giving daddy a hard time at night with shower, milk and winding down. Sorry Ewan and Daddy for putting you boys through this every day.

Day 5 – 21 April 2014 – 33 weeks

I had always been struggling with proper healthy meals at home. In the first trimester, I simply couldn’t do anything because I was so sick from puking. Halfway into the second trimester, I started to busy myself in the kitchen to fill my tummy. Unfortunately, that didn’t last too long. I had to slow down and relax because of complications during the course of pregnancy. Now, I’m bedridden. 
The situation is such that I am now well take care of and well-fed. Let’s dedicate Day 5, my favourite number, to something happy! Especially when Mondays are usually tagged to blue, let me bring you on a gastronomical journey (in the hospital). *smiles* 
A metal cloche lid cover gives the impression of a delectable meal under. Are the meals in the hospital really inviting? No. Not in my wildest dreams. I expected myself to suffer with poor quality meals but to my surprise, they were amazing! I had offers from friends and relatives to bring me food from out there but hey, I am not deprived man.
French Toast

Japanese Ramen
Pine Garden Tea Cakes
(hahah these were special delivery from Edmund and Xiao Bin)


I was looking forward to have babyF weighed today from all these food I consume every day. Basically, I was looking forward for my gynae to knock on my door and conduct an ultrasound.

Sigh… she did come in. I heard from the nurse she came and left without seeing me because I was napping so soundly she couldn’t bear to wake me up! Oh gosh… I’ll probably see her only tomorrow to know how we are progressing.

Me: Seriously? I still thought she could assess the situation and give me an indication of my discharge!
Ns: (laughed heartily) Oh no no no… she won’t let you discharge so soon!
Me: …

Taking one day at a time and positively psyching myself with the meals served here. If I went home, I will have trouble with my meals again! So instead of sighing and going “Oh Boy”, let us do a “Yahoo!”

Day 4 – 20 April 2014 – 33 weeks

I had a much rested night in the delivery ward compared to the labour ward. I still stirred in and out of sleep when the nurses came in 4 different intervals to have my contractions monitored but I’d rather that than having them waking me for jabs like what I went through in the labour ward. 

All the jabs thus far caused me sores and bruises. Now they have turned into itchy rashes. Seems like I will be getting more jabs today all over again though because…

Tsakok came this morning. She said that labour contractions happen mostly at night and my readings are showing regular contractions at the 4am reading. So she’s not letting it go! More jabbing. My uterus is also not letting up. It has constant irritable contractions that refuse to go away. “babyF, the world is a noisy place you know? Enjoy while you can in there. There’s no hurry. “

Her morning visits reminded me of a naughty school girl waiting to be reprimanded by the discipline mistress. 

I was sitting up, having my hospital tray of French Toast and Honey when my nurse came in to warn me that She Has Arrived. I dropped my utensils and quickly put my bed down the way she wants it to be. She had specifically told the nurses I am not supposed to leave my bed or even sit. Goodness but I really can’t eat lying down. 

She strutted in, took a look at a calm May lying down in trendelenburg. I even chucked my phone under my pillow. *hahah* That’s how strict my gynae is.

On a lighter note, the physiotherapist came again today. I wonder how much we have to pay for this but I really am digging this massage and the attention I get from my doctor’s fussing. First Class. Since I’m already suffering here, might as well inject some pleasure.  

Boohoo hoo my afternoon nap was disrupted. The nurse came in and informed me matter-of-factly that my iv line needs changing! 

Changing? Pulling it out of the back of hand and sticking it into another vein? Holy Moley! Why!!!!!! They need to change it every 3 days to avoid infection. I was like huh!!!!!! Now I’ll be counting down – 3 days at a time. This is the dip of the day. The  lowest bar on my happiness scale. 

Day 3 – 19 April 2014 – 33 weeks
Hey hey hey! Look at me! All SK2 radiant. *haha* Meyer took a look at me and shockingly blurted out, “oh my goodness! You have rosy cheeks? What happened!”

Well, the usual me is as pale as the winter shade of grey. I couldn’t believe I could be rosy-cheeked especially when I’m bed-ridden. I thought I should look rather sickly from inaccessibility. He took a picture of me and I went, “ooooo nice ah? I actually looked healthy!”
It’s all fake. 
My trendelenburg position did this to me. With my body lying with my head lower than my pelvis, I have blood rushing to my head when I contract a big one. With every big contraction at home, I usually get chest constrictions and will get breathless. In this position, blood rush adds to the experience. No wonder I have colour in my face. 
Sleep was much better last night in pockets of 3hrs rather than 2. The only thing that woke me was a sudden ache in my neck and shoulders. I have checked with the doctor and she confirms the ache comes from my lying position. No choice though =(

The strain became unbearable by 0600hrs and that woke me up. It runs down my neck, shoulders, arm joints and now my arms. Get me out of this position soon!!!!
The bruises on my butt, with a record of 7 jabs to date, are more manageable that the aches  I have. Oh gosh. I need a Thai massage right now! 

(Wow! I really am getting a massage! My gynae called in a physiotherapist without me knowing and I’m having a good time now. Woohoo!)

Bestest news for today is, Tsakok is sending me to the delivery ward! Yahoo!! 

I am still contracting and will need to be hooked on to all the monitors 24 hours – plus the Ventolin drip but her reason for letting me leave the labour ward made me very thankful:

“I’m moving you up so that Ewan can visit and see what mummy is going through. I want him to see all the equipments that are hooked onto you and understand the situation you and baby are in. He is old enough to know that his little sister and mummy are not feeling well and are fighting their best to full-term. SO when you DO get to go home and rest, he will understand that you will be bedridden at home and not allowed to do ANYTHING at all.”
Yes Dr Tsakok! Yes Yes Yes! Anything you say! I’m waiting excitedly to get out of the LABOUR WARD!
I’ll be seeing Ewan tonight! Oh come on now, move me to my room in the delivery ward! I’ve been waiting for 2.5hrs already!

Day 2 – 18 April 2014 – 32 weeks

I was trying very hard to sleep last night despite being shagged out mentally. I chose not to be sedated but it was already 2240hrs and I really want to stop thinking. Especially when I hear a screaming mummy hot at labour and the cries of a healthy baby after. The cries put a smile on my face for 3 seconds and then I felt really sad to know mine might be incubated. 

Just when I managed an hour’s sleep, my doctor turned up by my bed at 0030hrs. Touched my tummy and said I’m still contracting. The iv drip that’s supposed to stop my contraction isn’t working. Unfortunately, it is the maximum dosage I can be given. So more jabs in the middle of the night again… with progesterone. The nurses requested Tsakok’s permission to remove my monitors so I that I can sleep properly. I was so thankful for that go-ahead. 

The jab came at 0115hrs. Just when I thought I could try to sleep despite my exploding mind. The nurse will be back for another jab to mature babyF’s lungs. Plus doctor’s instructions to monitor me manually every 2 hours since the monitor is switched off, erm how do I get a rested night… 

Actually when I woke this morning, I realised the pockets of 2 hours sleep seems good enough. At least I slept but I’ll do away with whatever sleeping pills from today. It had absolutely no effect on my ever-working brain. 

Unfortunate, I still feel a rock hard belly. The nurse came to put my monitors back and agreed that I was still contracting despite all the meds. She spoke to babyF and told her “you want to come out now? Stay on mummy Okay? It’s still the best in there”

I wonder what else they can do to keep her in. Let there be a miracle!

Doctor came in at 1000hrs and we had a long series of discussions about the next steps. 

Dr: why is she always not in the position I want? Everytime I come in I want to see her lying head down bottom up. 
Ns: yes doc but she just ate
Dr: make her eat lying down on her side too. If she has difficulty, you cut up the food and feed her. That’s why she’s paying for nursing care right?
Ns: nodded

Dr: she’s still contracting. Please bring me an ultrascan machine. 
Dr: oh fantastic! You staying in bed had increased water level to 6 counts! But baby is still breeched and stuck. You might have to stay here for as long as it takes for the sake of the baby. Stop hoping to get discharged. 

Another nurse came in, one that I’ve never met. She tried to disagree with doc’s instructions and that frightened me! Nobody challenges Tsakok!

Ns2: we will transfer her later to normal ward. 
Doc: why? Can they handle her medication? 
Ns2:  ya they can. She is now paying for hourly rates in labour ward plus her single bed on a daily basis
Doc: but she’s contracting! I don’t think cost is an issue now. The amount she needs to pay for incubating is much higher!
Ns2: Okay we monitor. Once she contracts less, we will move her out. 

Then she turned to me. 

Ns2: when you move to normal ward, inform nurses when u feel contractions. 
Me: but that’s everytime
Ns2: you feel it everytime? Then call them when it’s painful. 
Me: but it’s never painful
Doc: no no no. By the time it is painful it’s too late!! If she moves, I want her on ctg scan every 4 hours
Ns: Okay but overnight we will stop the ctg so she can sleep
Me: oh no no. Please keep it going like what doctor said. I rather be safe than sorry. Just disturb me all they like. 
Ns2: Okay. We will monitor and move you later when we think you are fine
Doc: call me when you make that decision. I’ll come in, review then decide. 

Right. We need to stop contracting sweetheart. 

Day 1 – 17 April 2014 – 32 weeks
Where do we start. This is my 3rd visit in the week to the gynae’s clinic. I just saw her on Tuesday and everything was on its road to betterment! Yahoo! All I had to do was stay home, bedridden and do nothing. That’s what I’ve been doing. Haven’t I? Well, it wasn’t good enough.

Today’s visit had her written me an admission letter for immediate check in. 

Into the labour ward…

Amniotic fluid dipped sharply from my last visit. From 8 to 3 counts. Optimum amniotic fluid for any pregnancy is 10 while a minimum requirement of 5 is needed. At 3, my doc finds it way to low and that’s risking a premature appearance. 

I was quite chill about it really. I thought she was only playing safe because I don’t feel any form of discomfort whatsoever. I even laughed at her grandson’s comment on Ewan at the clinic, “hey popo! This baby can talk!” But the super serious Tsakok ignored whatever that was communicated to her and just went “aiyo aiyo aiyo”. The she hurried me along to leave her clinic and into the hospital. She brought her grandson into clinic at times and she always gave her grandson attention whenever he said something to her. She’s seriously concerned this time to ignore her grandson.

We came into the labour ward and I was still all smiles. Ah.. how bad can this be? She’s not going to pop anytime soon. I’m confident of that. Just mummy’s instinct.

I was strapped up for CTG Scan and if there are signs of contractions, I’ll need a drip and a jab on each side of my bum. All to relax my muscles and stop contractions. Plus one jab to prepare her lungs for delivery if need be. 

We broke some rules and had Ewan in for a little while. He’s such a darling, asking me to get out of bed and wanting to lie with me. 

The nurse came in only after 30 minutes of observation and said I’ll need the drip immediately. The scan shows signs of irritable contractions. Not every 10 minutes or any 5 minutes but every second. There were a couple of peaks at 70 points. 70 points = moderate contraction ratings at full term labour. 70 points = Danger for premature. So I had been too optimistic earlier. Morale dipped 10 folds. 

Then when I thought I could rest, I started to experience crazy back pains, heart palpitations and breathlessness. *rolls eyes* I need to be lying in a trendelenburg position i.e. pelvis raised higher than chest so that I will have a back flow of amniotic fluid. I am diagnosed to have hind water leak which caused the amniotic fluid to drop below average.

The nurse came in a couple of hours later and said I wasn’t contracting as much already and will have my doctor in to release me to a normal ward. I was SO HAPPY!

Tsakok came, looked at the CTG scan and said “Oh dear, it is so irritable!” 

She placed her hands on my tummy and declared I will not move out of labour ward tonight. She didn’t want any visitors to pop in and out during this period. Not even Ewan. I told her about my backaches and discomfort from lying trendelenburg-ly, all I got for a reply was, “Too Bad!”

She’s not giving in and she’s not even allowing me to get the CTG scan device off my belly till tomorrow. More discomfort to add on to the IV on my left hand and blood pressure device hooked permanently on my right arm. 

Tsakok is very strict and affirmative. She even told the nurses, “I know you wish I’ll release her to the ward but you are not busy here right? So she’s staying” and she left. *hahah* the nurses were actually trying to help me move on but seems like my results isn’t perfect enough for her to sign a release form. 

God knows how long I’ll be staying here in the hospital. It could be a week. It could be a month until delivery. I didn’t want to ask Tsakok any further because my only request of moving on to the normal ward had her prescribed me a sedative. In her opinion, I had been thinking too much, hoping too much, worrying too much. She needed me to sleep and relax – which I couldn’t achieve.

They talked about the baby being breeched so I deciphered that I’ll be cut up again if need be. 

In short, overnight in labour ward and sedated. 

I give up. I’ll stay for as long as she says I’m ok. Goodnight world.

4 thoughts on “Preemie Scare

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