Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nathan's one-and-a-half!

Dear Nathan,

You are now one-and-a half and you've brought us so much joy since you entered our lives. You have a ready smile for us, are cheeky at times, and you have never failed to amuse us with your new 'tricks'.

You continue to enjoy school, and hardly fuss when we drop you off. Some Mondays, you'd cry when mommy drops you, and that really breaks my heart. But when I see you playing happily with your friends when I pick you up, or running to me with a big wide grin on your face when I get you, I know that you enjoyed your day at school, and that makes me feel a lot better. I hear that you enjoy playground time, and would sometimes get upset when it's time to go back indoors again. Next month, you'd 'graduate' from the infant group, and join the older kids in play group. Mommy hopes that you'll settle down well, and enjoy the time of learning and playing with your new teachers and friends.

You enjoy reading a lot more, and are able to point to pictures when we ask you to. Sometimes, you amuse us when you start doing actions to specific words / songs. Like when you see a picture of a 'scary fish' in your book, you'd pat your chest, indicating 'scared'. Then when I played you the 'Ten Little Indian Boys' song on my iphone, you started doing the actions to that song. In recent times, you can fill in the words to songs like 'Twinkle twinkle' and 'Old MacDonald's'. It's so cute to hear you sing.

You know quite a good number of words, but we find that you are pretty shy when it comes to talking in front of strangers. You are able to understand / obey instructions, and are also able to indicate your wants either through words / actions. The words that you can say include: duck-duck, dog, bear, drop, take, that, bubbles, flower, nana (for banana), bird, daddy, mommy... and the ones you understand and can respond with the appropriate actions include: wait, roar, lion, pray, sleep, snack, go, book, keys, shoes, socks, where, school, five, clock... You are able to point to your body parts like head, hair, eyes, nose, ear, mouth, tongue, knee, elbow... We've been teaching you to thank God before each meal, and it was so heart warming when one day, you bowed your head and clasped your hands together, when daddy said grace. We look forward to having you string words together, telling us about your day at school and leading us in thanking God for His abundant provisions for our family in the near future.

You are able to walk steadily since 13 months, and enjoy running around with daddy. I love to hear your chuckles as you try to run after daddy in your little father & son game of hide-and-seek. We've also taken you kite flying at Marina Barrage, where you got to run around in the field. Kite flying all started when we were reading your Sesame Street ABC/123 book. Each time we came to the letter 'K', you'd stand up, raise your arms above your head, as if you were flying a kite, like the Sesame Street Characters in the book. Mommy decided to get you a real kite, so you'd get to experience the real thing. After a long and tiring week at work, mommy looks forward to fun times as such... simple activities, simple joys with mommy's favorite boys.

We've gone on 2 more mini holidays with you in tow. One at Amara Sanctuary Resort (Sentosa), and another at Marina Bay Sands. We've a lot more to pack in our luggages with you around, and we've got to plan our schedules around your nap times. But you are generally an easy traveler, and holidays are so much more fun with you around. We've started visiting 'old' attractions like the Bird Park, Zoo and Sentosa... places that mommy and daddy haven't been to in a long time. We enjoyed splish-splashing at the MBS sky pool, even though the water was so cold!

About a week before you turned 18th months old, we welcomed your baby brother into our family. You've been a really sweet kor kor thus far. Once, when Noah was crying, you went to get your bedtime bear to give it to him. It's so heart warming to see you wanting to comfort Noah with your favorite bear. Mommy and daddy hopes that as the two of you grow up, you'd find companionship in one another, and build each other up as you walk the straight and narrow path together as brothers. We wait for the day that Noah can play with you, and look forward to having both your laughters fill our home.

Mommy and daddy continue to pray that you'd grow to be a fine young man who'd love God with all your heart, soul and mind. Know that mommy and daddy loves you very much, and will always want the very best for you.
Hugs & kisses,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Noah has jaundice

Noah was discharged from Mt A, after 2 nights of phototherapy. Am so glad that his jaundice level has gone down, and that he's feeding and sleeping better.

Two days ago, I took Noah to Uncle EK's clinic for his newborn review. Was so upset when we found out that his jaundice level has gone up to 17.1 and that he needed phototherapy. Before discharging from RH, he had already undergone one day of phototherapy. He didn't look yellow, so I wasn't expecting him to require another round of phototherapy. Uncle EK said we had the choice of doing phototherapy at home by renting the light, or admitting him to hospital. I was actually intending to rent the light, like we did for Nathan previously. But when I told Dean about it, he was more in favour of letting the hospital handle it. I was kinda sad to admit Noah to the hospital, but at the same time, I remembered how stressful it was when we handled it on our own at home. when Nathan had jaundice. So upon Dean's urging, I made plans to get Noah admitted. I also asked for a room for myself as well, so that I could nurse him.

I missed Nathan and daddy when I was at the hospital with Noah. But it was nonetheless a good decision to admit Noah. At the hospital, the nurses only brought him to me for feeds every 3+ hour. Apparently, he would sleep thru out after each feed. That gave me the much needed rest. When he got home from RH, he was feeding every hour or two, and I was exhausted. I suppose it was because the photo light made him sleepy, and also cos my milk just came in the day he got admitted. Dean and Nathan visited us on the first day. Told Dean not to come on the second day, cos he was visibly tired from a long day at work and also cos I didn't want Nathan going to bed later than his usual bedtime. The second night that they didn't visit, Dean called me on Skype and we chatted for a bit. He had taken a shower for Nathan, and both of them were in their 'pajamas'. Dean sat Nathan beside him on our sofa, and I could see them over the web cam. My heart melted when Nathan waved at me and blew me a kiss at the end of the call.

Noah's jaundice level dropped to 10.7 this morning, and we were given the green light to go home. So thankful.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Noah's Birth Story

Noah joined our little family of 3 on 1 March 2011... and now we are 4!

Daddy left for a business trip on Sunday, 28 Feb. Nathan and I went to the airport to send him off. Prior to that, Dr Han said that I can deliver any time. That got me really worried. Two weeks ago, during the routine visit, she said not likely to deliver so soon, and that it should be ok for Dean to go on his trip as long as he doesn't extend his stay. Then two days before the trip, she says anytime. By then, all the trip arrangements have been made. So we decided to just go ahead as planned.

I teared as we said our goodbyes at the departure gate. "Why mommy? Just 3 days...", Dean asked. Told him that I was really worried that I'd go into labour when he's away. That I wouldn't know what to do with Nathan, cos I really didn't want Nathan to wake up one morning and realise that mommy and daddy wasn't at home with him. Dean assured me that he'd be contactable and would rush back if needed.

On Monday, when sending Nathan to school, we thanked God (we prayed in the car like we always do) that we made it past the first night without daddy. We managed to speak to daddy over Skype the night before, and Nathan was real glad to be able to see daddy on mommy's iphone screen for a brief moment. Then in the evening, when we got home, I was so glad, cos we are closer to having daddy home. It was nice to be able to communicate thru Skype calls while Dean was away. It was like the good old days once again. We chatted for a bit that night. He was showing me the stuff that he bought, and told me that the training was not too bad, but that he had a lot of work to clear. We ended the call early so that he could get on with his work.

That night, 1 March 2011, at about 2am, I felt a gush of water. Think my water bag was leaking. With Nathan, that was also the first sign of labour. I prayed that the leaking would stop, and that Noah will wait till Thursday when Dean would be back. But I felt a few more gushes. It was for real. I finally decided to call Dean. at 2.55am I felt a lot better when I heard his voice over the phone. Was telling him that I intended to wait till morning... to send Nathan to school, before making my way to the hospital. But Dean insisted that I get my parents over, and go immediately. After all, Dr Han did mention that she wants me in the hospital within an hour if my waters break. Meanwhile, he assured me that he'd call Amex and find the quickest way back home.

I called my mom, but she didn't answer her phone. Called my dad, he answered and I asked for my mom. Told her that Dean wasn't home, and that I need her over right away. While waiting for my mom and dad, I took a shower and packed my hospital bag. Checked thru Nathan's school bag, and wrote down some instructions for my mom - Nathan's feeding times and how much he usually drank etc. Briefed my mum when she arrived - where Nathan's milk powder, milk bottles, diapers etc were kept, what time he's expected to wake up etc. Told her to send him to school after his milk feed. Didn't want to disrupt Nathan's routine as much as possible. When all that was done, my dad sent me to the hospital.

4.25am Arrived at Raffles Hospital. Hooked up to baby heart rate monitoring machine.

4.45am Contractions 9 min apart. VE revealed that I was 3cm dilated. Enema administered.

After all the admin was done, I spent some time reading the Bible passage on Noah's ark. Prayed that Noah will be strong and healthy, and that he'd be a righteous man who will find favor with God and man. Prayed that Dean and I will be good parents to Nathan and Noah, teaching them to walk in God's way, and grow up to be men of honor, wisdom and grace.

Tried to get some sleep, but couldn't really fall asleep. All the while, was in touch with Dean thru SMSes. He managed to get his flight changed to the first one in the morning, and would touch down in Singapore at about noon.

7.10am Dr Han came in to check on me. VE - 3.5cm dilated. She said my water bag had burst and she ordered for a blood test to be done to make sure that I do not have any infection. Said if I don't deliver by 2pm, she will induce me. Wanted me to deliver by this evening, to prevent any risks to baby. I teared. Was worried for Noah cos I was told that there's a risk of infection since my waters had broken. I teared. Dr Han saw me tearing and asked me why I've been so emotional thru this whole pregnancy. She said not to worry too much and to just hope for a smooth and quick delivery.

Nurse puts a drip device on my arm and draws a huge tube of blood. Thereafter, she drips me with water to keep me hydrated.

10am Breakfast is served. Chwee kueh, milo and watermelon, plus a cup of apple juice which I saved for later.

11am Nurse says that one of the blood tests indicated that I have an infection. Antibiotics administered so that baby won't have any infection. I didn't know what the implications are. Just prayed that Noah would be strong and healthy, delivery will be smooth, quick and painfree, and that Dean would be kept safe as he traveled.

11.12am Contractions still far apart. Drug administered to induce contractions. Turns out that the swab test done during my last visit to Dr Han also showed that I'm positive for strep B. So Dr Han wanted to speed up labour. Any antibiotic was given.

11.45am Went to pee. Contractions about 3 to 4 min apart, 30 seconds in duration.

11.49am Dean landed at Changi Airport. Contractions about 2+ min apart. Pain intensity increased, but still bearable.

12.18pm Contractions 2 min apart.

12.30pm Dr Han came in. Said that my water bag probably burst because there was some clinical indection. Blood test result was borderline. Will not affect baby, so long as I deliver within the next 12 to 18 hours. She asked when Dean would arrive. I told her that he was in a cab on the way to the hospital. She said he'd be in time for Noah.

12.50pm Dean arrived. Mommy's glad.

Pain becomes more and more intense. Asked nurse to standby ethanox.

1.13pm 5cm dilated. Asked for pethidine.

I really struggled with the last bit of contractions. Was getting high on ethanox and the pethidine didn't seem to relieve the pain. I was even thinking if I should ask for epidural. As I contemplated, I heard Dr Han's voice. So glad. She came in, says I'm fully dilated, and that when the next contractions came, I can push. Think I pushed about 3 to 5 times. Very hard. Noah was board at 2.11pm, 2.81kg, 49cm. Praise God! Phew! So glad it is over.