Comrade

I shared about my fellow “comrade” during my stay at the hospital (KKH). Patient T – more commonly known as Madam Tan – went through a very similar predicament as me. Right now it is comforting to know that both our babies are growing strong and healthy.

Some interesting similarities that bonded the friendship between both families (adapted in English from Mdm Tan’s blog):

 

  1. Both of us were pregnant with our first baby boy.
  2. Both of us had burst water bag between 21 to 23 weeks of gestation and were admitted into the same ward with beds facing each other.
  3. Both of us love to hide behind our curtains in the ward; eating durians! 😛 (because we heard that durians will help our babies put on weight! But clearly this old wives’ tale didn’t work for me!)
  4. Both of us have loving hubbies who came to the hospital after work everyday without fail to visit us. Both hubbies bear all things in silence; willingly and lovingly supported us throughout the entire pregnancy in the hospital. 🙂
  5. Both of us have mothers who are super-women! Both mothers will go to the hospital everyday; bringing healthy home-cooked food which we readily shared among both families.
  6. Amazingly – both of us gave birth to our sons at gestational week 31+ 1 day!
  7. Both our babies were born in July – Xi En was born on 31st July and Yuan Hao was born on 13th July. Think about it.. rare to come by 2 dates who are opposite digits within the same month!

 

So many coincidences (or God-incidences to us) have created an invisible bonding between both families. It is also probably because no one will understand better than a fellow “comrade” who went through the same “suffering”. I am thankful for Mdm Tan because she had taught me resilience and in the midst of “darkness”; we supported each other. 🙂

Both of us can definitely see this friendship continuing to our sons’ generation!

 

Xi En & Yuan Hao

Week 29 to 30+ : In and out of…. DELIVERY WARD (a.k.a prison cell)

This was probably of one of worst weeks @ KKH for us (that’s beside the first week when I was admitted). 2 Sundays back, I started having abnormal readings on the cardiotocograph machine (commonly known as the CTG machine). Most mums will know that this is the machine which is strapped onto the tummy once you go reached the hospital during labour. I was “ordered” to go to the delivery suite immediately after one of the daily monitoring readings. That’s because baby’s heartbeat showed signs of decelerations and I was having early contractions too. After much haggling with the registrar-on-duty that fateful Sunday night, I relented and was sent to the delivery suite. I was almost left with “no choice” when she called me on my mobile and said “ You have come so far, I don’t want you to lose your baby! I strongly advise you to go to the delivery suite NOW for closer monitoring. You can’t wait for your husband to come either; just go NOW”. That’s was almost 12 midnight; and the urgency in her voice shook my whole being. I managed to grab my pillows and was wheeled hurriedly into the labour/delivery suite. I thought….. that’s it – I’m going to give birth NOW! And baby is still too pre-mature at week 29!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How? How? Why? Why?

 

To me, the labour ward is a like an ER or a prison cell, depending on how long you were confined in there. It is a super expensive place too (6* price for less than 3* facilities and service!). But the most traumatising factor is probably the CTG MACHINE! Here, you are strapped (or tied) to the CTG machine and monitored 24hrs. You are not supposed to have any toilet breaks and you can’t move too much ‘cos the contact points might be lost. I felt that I like a prisoner, tied with handcuffs and not knowing my sentence! Doctors and midwives come and go – they can only say – “Let’s monitor”. I didn’t know my “fate” then; all I knew is I was stuck to that machine and that small bed for a long long time…. “miserability” at its maximum! 😦

 

I was given extra strong womb-relaxing medicine to prevent early contractions. Started on iv drips to provide nutrients to baby and hydrate me. I knew the doctors meant well; they want the best management for my situation but sadly to say most of them only took into consideration the “medical aspect” and ignored the “emotional aspect” of the patient. Kim and I were stuck in this small room for almost 3 days before I was “released” to go back to the normal ward (that’s after much pleading with various doctors). By then, I was exhausted to the point of giving up. We didn’t know how often such incidents might happened again (yup..subsequently we were sent back to the labour ward on 2 other separate occasions and “held captive” for 1 to 3 days); We didn’t know how to persevere further. The uncertainty of events were eating us up alive. Kim and mum were so worried I might deliver early and thus kept asking me to eat and eat… for a food lover – I almost hated eating for a moment. But we felt that we were racing against time; I had to eat to help baby gain more weight in the shortest possible time (primitive thinking you might say; but then again, that’s what a layman can do in desperate times like this!). But the weirdest thing is – after 2 weeks of all these “nonsense” – I actually lost more weight than before! Fingers crossed – the food had gone to baby and not me. haa… 🙂

 

This week, we settled back to a few days of normalcy (FINALLY!). I could finally sleep properly at night and Kim can finally go home for some much needed eye-shut and peace. However, we are still living by the day, by every single CTG readings (2 are scheduled per day; morning and evening). We knew by now that if we “fail” one reading, off we go again to the “cell”. As such, we are not able to receive guests readily as before (thanks to all who want to come by; but it is probably not the best time due to the uncertainty of the situation).

 

On a happier note, I am glad to announce that come tomorrow, we can start the count down to see baby Ethen! Roughly 3 more weeks to the targeted week to deliver baby (at Week 34+). Thus, we are praying hard. Praying that there will be no more decelerations in baby’s heartbeat, contractions will not come back prematurely, no signs of infections and baby will continue to grow heavier in womb (and for us all to remain sane and maintain a sound mind till then! haaa :)). Please stay with us in prayers for this final lap. 🙂

 

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12: 1-2

 

finish line

Naming Baby

Many are curious by now what we are naming our miracle baby warrior. 🙂 Ok – here goes – He shall be proudly known as:

male 

English: ETHEN CHEN

 

Mandarin:曾希恩

 

(Zeng Xi En)

 

A check through a few naming websites generated the following meanings:

Meaning of Ethen (pronounced the same way as “Ethan” and is an alternative way to spell it):

strong and optimistic, solid and enduring, steadfast and permanent, long-lived.

Origin: Hebrew

The coincidence is that we came up with this name even before we had all these hospital issues. So.. I think God knows best what he has in store for our baby. 🙂 And yes, we “happened” to decide to choose a name that starts with “E” and Kim decided to use the one ending with “e” rather than “a” ‘cos it signifies both our union – “E”dwin and “E”velyn. OK.. how cheesy ya.. but when you start naming your children, you will know it is not an easy task!

 

As for the Mandarin name, I really have to credit Kim for this. HE WAS THE ONE WHO CAME UP WITH IT!  Well..ok – I came up with “en”. That’s an easy one ‘cos I simply love “en” from a long time back. Though I know many Christian babies have “en” in their names, I still can’t resist using “en”. It kind of matches Eth-“en” as well! haaa…

As for stringing the Chinese name together, Kim had this dream (while I am in KKH) that our baby will become an Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G for short) doctor who specialises in high risk pregnancies in the future! haha… What silly dream you might say.. but the main aim is that we want baby to be a useful person who will contribute positively back to society in the future (especially since his birth hadn’t come easy!!!). So Kim wanted a Chinese word that resonate that.

He wanted a name that signify: hope (希望 – xi1 wang1) or miracle (奇迹 qi2 ji4). After talking out loud for a while, we found out that 希恩 sounded prefect-o! 🙂 So baby can tell people his Chinese name is hope (希) and gratitude or grace (恩)!

 

Don’t you just love the whole naming process? 🙂

 

Kim copying baby's chinese name from a dictionary. What a serious look!

Kim copying baby's chinese name from a dictionary. I love the serious look! 🙂