On my Third Trimester, I started the actual preparation of baby's things. I'm very thankful to my mommy friends and my sister who willingly lent me and passed on some of their baby clothes which helped save us some money especially the crib. I would also like to thank my thoughtful colleagues and friends who surprised me with a Baby Shower. Those gifts I got were really a big help for us. And it was my first time to attend a baby shower! Haha!
|Nov. 10, 2012 at Kitchen's Best. My surprise baby shower. Thanks S! :)
Here are some of the big priced items that we spent for:
1. Medela Breast Pump and cooler bag with ice pack
2. Farlin Sterilizer
3. Alva Cloth Diapers and Curity Gauze Diapers
4. Prenatal check-up, supplements and Anmum Materna milk
5. CGH Hospital bills (OB fee, Pedia fee, Anesthesiologist fee, room fee, delivery room fee, etc.)
Surprisingly, I didn't spend on baby bottles at first because I just used the 4pcs of Pigeon Peristaltic Plus 4oz. bottles that I got for free from the events/workshops that I had attended. I also initially used the sample sachets of Cycles and Cradles that I got to wash baby clothes and bottles.
I started packing my hospital bag and important documents and left them at my mom's house as CGH is nearer to their place. Btw, I transferred to a different OB when I was on my 5th month. It was my sister's previous OB Dra. Justina Go-Julio in Chinese General Hospital. It was just my personal choice, decision and instinct.
When everything was almost set, I decided to have a maternity photo shoot to capture the beauty of my baby bump before I gave birth. I have to admit that I'm vain. :) I inquired many photographers and finally chosen Red Stilettos Photography to do it for me. I got a good rate because she was my friend and she was very accommodating.
|Nov. 18, 2012 at 35 weeks, just few days before I had rashes. Photo taken by Red Stilettos Photography.
And just the day after I had my photo shoot, I was stricken with the worst skin rashes ever! I was at 35 weeks (Nov. 24) when I suffered this rare pregnancy rashes called PUPPP, short for Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. It commenced when the stretch marks of my abdomen got inflamed with raised spots and increasing itchiness. Then my legs, thighs, arms and lower back eventually had tiny red rashes too, except for the face. Every night I can't sleep peacefully and in day time I can't function well because I kept on scratching those extremely itchy rashes. I even met a new friend online who shared the same sentiments as mine. My OB advised me to consult a derma Dra. Grace Ty on this. Before I visited, I had done my research so well that I already suspected it to be PUPPP. She prescribed me a topical lotion called Triamcinolone to be applied on the affected areas but I was very hesitant and careful as it contains some steroids that might harm the baby. I also tried using Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream and Grandpa's Pine Tar soap to help relieve the itchiness but it didn't help much. It just worsened over time. However, this disease is said to be harmless to the baby as it is hormonal and would go away soon as I have delivered the baby. Of course, I was worried too of the scars that might blemish my flawless skin but that was secondary, as long as baby would be fine. It was really disgusting and indeed caught the attention of people who saw those brown spots. As if those were some kind of a contagious skin disease, but not!
|Nov. 27, 2012 at 36 weeks. The rashes were inflamed, very itchy and rough.
|Dec. 3, 2012 at 37 weeks. Almost all skin were covered. It flattened and became brown spots. Same itchiness.
Two weeks left before I go full term or one month to go before my supposedly due date on Dec. 26. Those two weeks were the longest and most depressing throughout my pregnancy. I was distraught and had been counting the days, almost can't wait to deliver just so this itchiness would stop. I wasn't that excited anymore but I just prayed to God for a safe delivery and a healthy normal baby. I went to file my maternity leave and set it on Dec. 10 a Monday as I wanted to rest my brain already and just wait for my delivery day. I was anticipating that I might give birth anytime soon as I reached my 37th week.
I finalized my work on the night of Dec. 7 Friday as I was excited to take my much-awaited break. I took a bath, had our usual hearty dinner, brushed my teeth and prepared myself for a carefree peaceful sleep. It was also my time to finalize and do some last minute preparations for baby's coming. My closet was a mess and so full that I decided to pack away my pre-pregnancy clothes into a luggage for post-pregnancy use. During one of the routinary moments that I have to immediately answer the call of nature, I suddenly noticed that my pee was coming out beyond my control. I peeked through the bowl and saw some blood stains too. I quietly panicked and calmly told my hubby about it. I hurriedly gave a phone call to my OB and was instructed to proceed to the delivery room. That was around past nine in the evening.
We waited for an hour for the car to arrive as hubby's sister used it that evening. While waiting, I used the remaining time to look up on the internet if it's a sign of labor. And because I learned from my childbirth class that when water bag breaks, the baby should be out within 24 hours. We hurriedly packed up and drove by my mom's house to get the essential things (Cordlife Kit and doctor's order) before proceeding to the delivery room. I started to feel some slight but tolerable contractions inside the car. I wasn't able to time the interval of my contractions as I was preoccupied by my nervousness. My hubby accompanied me to the 3rd floor Delivery Room. We showed the doctor's order to the nurse, asked me to remove my accessories and interviewed us for some details before we parted our ways. Hubby was told to return after an hour and I was assisted by a nurse to the Labor Room, bringing with me my Cordlife Kit.
Time was 11:30pm. The nurse told me to remove all my clothes and put on their blue disposable gown. A nurse took my blood pressure while another interviewed me for some details. A certain Dr. Sharon performed an IE (internal exam) and said that I was 3-4cm already. It was my first time to be IE-d and it was very painful. A dextrose was attached to my body and they injected something for faster effacement and dilation of my cervix. I could already feel the contractions come and go. My OB arrived at around 12:30am and attached an ECG belt to my belly to monitor my baby's heart beat. I endured the contractions at the Labor room for about two hours. The pain only got intense every minute just how dysmenorrhea feels like.
At around 2:00am, my OB asked me if I wanted to have an epidural anesthesia already. I was still hesitant at first because I thought I can still endure the pain but in the end I gave in. I was transferred to the Delivery Room, had an epidural and the contractions became more tolerable. I was IE-d the second time and I was at 8cm already! They attached a catheter and pressed my bladder to empty it. I was told to start pushing already when there is a contraction. Pushing in labor is just like taking a poop and you could hardly distinguish them anymore which one would come out. I had a hard time pushing out the baby because I was afraid my poop would come out in front of them. But they said it was okay so I did it. They even pressed on my upper abdomen to help push the baby out.
|Welcome to this world Baby A! I was at 37w3d at the time of delivery.
I was awake all throughout the labor. I did my very best push and I finally made it at 3:09am! Wow! As soon as my baby was held in front of me, I couldn't help but to feel overwhelmed. I hardly could imagine that I was able to successfully deliver a child. I didn't cry out but deep inside I'm very happy and grateful that God really answers our prayers. I was just surprised to see that baby was so white. Her skin was all covered with the white-cheesy substance called vernix. First thing that got me fascinated was her girly tiny fingers and cute little lips. Glad that the nurses immediately put my baby to latch as I had reminded my OB many times during our check-up that I will be strictly breastfeeding my baby and rooming-in her afterwards. I was surprised to see my hubby inside the delivery room who took some photos of me and baby. I knew he was also deeply overwhelmed and happy to see baby normal and healthy. After that, I almost forgot that I haven't slept for the whole night. And all the evenings to come!
You know what really am I so thankful for? It is because baby was delivered at full term, just right after I passed my 37th week! What a relief! And with baby's arrival, I almost forgot that I had a rashes prior that! The itchiness eventually died down days after and the blemishes faded away weeks or months post-partum.
Stay tuned as I reveal my "ge-lai" experience and breastfeeding journey on my succeeding blog posts .
Thank you for your time. Hope you enjoyed reading my pregnancy journal trilogy.
P.S. Did you find any familiar or similar experience with my story? Any comments would be gladly welcomed. I would love to hear from you too. :)