I did not go to work this week, but nevertheless it has been busy. Very busy indeed, and I know that life would never be the same again. Don't expect me to blog about my weekend Yum Cha, block buster movie review and late night code hacking for a while. In fact, I probably won't have much time to blog anymore. Even if I do, it would be around my little cutie.
So. Many people asked about the story. Here it is.
My daughter, Anna, was born last Saturday (3rd of July, 2004) at 4:29am in the morning. There has been signs of "something is coming" from previous nights, but the contraction has not been frequent and regular, so both Vivian and I thought that it was just a normal pre-labour sign. I even went to MBFri the night before, did not feel pressured that the baby might decide to come in 5 hours of time.
So at half pass twelve on the 3rd, Vivian got up and went to the toilet, but rushed back to the bedroom telling me that she felt the rush of water coming out. We immediately rang the hospital, and I was hoping that they would say that it is normal and ask us to wait until the morning, as I was very sleepy at that time. No. Hospital asked us to go directly to the delivery suite. Aargh... (it was a yawn) At this time of the day? So we picked up already packed bag, drove calmly to RHW, headed down to the delivery suit, and waited for someone to give Vivian a check up.
Baby Yang is coming! We are not going back, and baby Yang needs to be delivered now!
Wah-lah! Still 2 weeks to due day, so why the rushing? I still felt tired, but the contraction got more intense with Vivian. She requested injection to epidural. Mid-wife checked, and said that it was all too late - Vivian was already fully dilated. Well, that is a good news and a bad news. Vivian was already fully ready to deliver, but she would not get any pain killer. Vivian was quite disappoined...
The next 3 hours has been quite a chaos. Mid wife and doctors coming in and out helping Vivian to push. A few different postures and positions, but Vivian was too tired. Way too tired to push, and the contraction has been too short to allow her to push effectively. At one stage there were 5 hospital staffs in the delivery suite (including one medical student) trying to get this naughty baby out of mommy's tummy, plus a tired, confused but excited husband running around trying to give a not-so-useful hand...
At the end, we have to settle with an instrumental delivery by using a vacuum suction device to get the baby's head out first. Once it is out, the rest is easy.
I could not forget the moment when the baby came out. Well, the blood and water was everywhere, and I guess with so many people present I was too embarrassed to faint. But there, a life form came out from another, still connected with mommy, and we checked, "hey! It is a girl". That puts big smile on both Vivian and myself. Within seconds the baby girl cried. The doctor put a clamp on her cord, and I had the honour to cut it. Within minutes she started to suck her own tiny fingers, so Vivian gave her her very first meal outside the womb.
We are still amazed by how wonderful a new life is, and we give thanks to God for his provision.
The next few days were hectic. A few hours after Vivian gave birth to Anna, I (guiltily) left Vivian in the delivery suite and came home to get things organised and prepared. That includes, making an announcement blog entry, getting car capsule fitted, getting my camera and video camcoder ready, cleaning up the house and the car, etc. I had to do it in a hurry as we did not expect Anna would be out that soon. We even forgot to pack the camera into our bag when we arrived hospital, so there was no visual record of Anna's first minutes. My video camera, a recently purchased Canon MV730i, was still wrapped in the box so I had to quickly get it charged and got some MiniDV tapes from Dick Smith Electronics.
Vivian and Anna were scheduled to be discharged last Tuesday, despite Vivian's desire to stay longer. Anyway, Anna came home with us in that afternoon, wrapped in jump suit with extra jacket and booty. Later that evening my parents arrived Sydney from the Gold Coast, so well, a nice family evening where we could enjoy my mom's cooking and put concentration on meeting baby Anna's needs. The night was sleepless, as Anna woke up at 12am and 4am to take feeds. Next morning (Wednesday) at 8am, we were back in RHW again to bring Anna for some blood test.
Later during lunch time, Vivian got a phone call at home from RHW, requesting both Vivian and Anna to return back to the hospital as Anna has been examined to have high jaundice level. That was annoying. We initially requested to stay for an extra day but got rejected, and now both of them needed to stay in the hospital for an indefinite length of time, until Anna has shown recovery. Now we had to pack the bags again. Moreover, since Anna is the patient but Vivian is not this time, she has to pay a fee for each night she is staying in there.
Anyway. Baby's health first. So the mother and the daughter returned back to the hospital. I also need to visit the hospital to give hands to Vivian from morning 'til late at night. Anna did get better initially, her pu has changed colour, and we thought that we could finally go home on Saturday. However, this morning Anna's jaundice level raised again so that she needs to stay under the photo-therapy for a little bit longer.
Vivian is super tired, so I think I'll need to stay in the hospital tonight. Anna has been fed well today, and she has been quite settled after the feed. She can now stay under the ultra violet light for a full 2 hours without crying and complaining. Looks like it is improving, and yes, we both hope that she will get better soon.
You can only understand the difficulty to be a parent when you are one, and I guess I can grasp what it means now.
I was a very sick boy when I was young. I had ashame, and before 10 years old I could not even climb a stair without heavy breathing. Sometimes I would wake up at night, finding myself difficult to breath, and had to crawl to my parents' bedroom knocking for help. My dad would then rush downstairs to his clinic and bring up some medicine and injection to keep me alive throughout the night. It did not happen just once or twice, but at least once every one or two months for a period of time.
And I always took "being taken care" for granted.
But now I understand that it is hard work. Real hard work.
Update 11:33pm: Well. I did not stay in the hospital to support Vivian because I got kicked out by a mid wife on duty. Not a very good mid wife I'll say, as she was a bit rough and rude trying to calm Anna down. Being here 12 hours a day for the last 7 or 8 days, I sort of saw most mid wives on duty in the Paddington ward, and they do vary a lot. Some are very good, providing exactly what you need at the right time with kind and gentleness. Some are rude, however, telling you that you should have done this and that, yada yada yada, which were practicality wise impossible for everyone.