12 days and counting

Just came back from KKH after a quick visit to the step-down unit of NICU. Ethen got the green light from the doctors to “graduate” from NICU. The step down unit is as its’ name suggests – a lower dependency unit. We were so happy to receive the phone call from the nurses in the morning informing us of the update. 🙂


Update of Ethen’s progress thus far:

  • Started from 3ml feed/2hrs to 12ml feed/2hrs today (read: He love food like his mummy!)
  • Currently breathing well on his own without dependency on any more ventilator; breathe breathe – small and cute button nose! 🙂
  • He has 2 last drips – vitamins + fats (to help him gain weight) and caffeine (to aid his lungs development)
  • Birth weight is 1.27kg and current weight is 1.46kg. Once he reaches 1.5kg to 1.7kg, he will be able to move out of his “house” aka the incubator and transfer to the special care unit (SCN).
  • Last but not least – he had been peeling open his adorable eyes and flashing some smiles for these 2 big faces peeking down at him! 🙂 So cute lah!



visiting xi en 



Xi En hand and feet

Xi En waves hullo to the world!

10 weeks after my water bag ruptured , our miracle boy – Xi En – finally arrived into this world on 31st July 2009 through an emergency caesarean (c-sect). We concluded that he decided to arrive in time to celebrate Daddy’s and Mummy’s 12th year “dating anniversary”. His parents decided to “park tor” (date officially) on 31st July 1997. 🙂

We are thankful that God has really been in control of the whole situation. From an initial situation where many doctors do not even dare to place much hope in our case (at an early gestational age of 21+ weeks) to the current birth of our miracle baby (at 31+ weeks); we knew that only God could have done this. What happened on the eventful day? Ethen Chen Xi En’s birth journey as below:

31st July 2009; 7am

I started with my regular cadiotocograph (CTG) reading early in the morning. The reading showed that baby was a little “sleepy” and there wasn’t enough variation in his heartbeat. One of the obstetrician (Dr L) whom I trusted the most, was on her regular rounds and came by to see me. She decided to ask me to repeat the CTG readings. Initially I was reluctant mainly because I had to repeat such readings so often in the past and most of the time, the end results remained in the “safe” zone. However, I kind of felt that I needed to “follow” instructions today.

31st July 2009; 10+am

I repeated a 2nd CTG reading. This time, baby’s heartbeat showed one deceleration. The medical officer who signed for the readings requested a 2nd repeat on the readings.

31st July 2009; 2+pm

This is the 3rd CTG reading for the day. This time round, there were 2 decelerations in baby’s heartbeat. I became concerned and knew that a journey to the labour ward seemed unavoidable. Asked mum to pack my bag to get ready. Sure enough, within 1/2 hour, I was told to proceed to the delivery suite for continuous monitoring.

31st July 2009; 4+pm

During the admission at the delivery suite; I even requested for a “window view” as I was a “regular” there and thought that it will be just “another one of those times” (I didn’t knew what was coming up!). Kim rushed down and bought some of my favourite food to “celebrate” our 12 years of being together. 🙂 I was strapped onto the CTG machine immediately and left there for monitoring.

31st July 2009; 7+pm

It was a surprise that we found out that Dr L happened to be the overall senior doctor on duty for the night! Praise the Lord! We knew that she is seldom roster for duty and thus is thankful that she is the doctor-in-charge for the night (we knew that if anything is to happen, we will be in safe hands). She came by to see me and said that she had to attend to an emergency c-sect for another patient and will come by thereafter. Meanwhile, baby’s heartbeat continued to show several decelerations…..

31st July 2009; 8+pm

This stay at the delivery suite proved to be different. We were paying close attention to the CTG machine and it began to dawned upon us that baby’s heartbeat was decelerating drastically and recovering at a very slow pace. I started experiencing contractions too. With every contraction, baby’s heartbeat was compromised. We knew that “something” was brewing up. As Dr L was still away, 2 other medical officers attended to me with a fair bit of apprehension written all over their eyes and movements. I was praying hard for Dr L to come back asap. At the right moment, she walked in; checked me, read the graphs and turned to us saying in her ever calm voice – “This is it. We are delivering baby tonight.” Though we are “expecting” it, we were still blow away by what was coming up.

31st July 2009; 9+pm

It was an organised team of midwives, doctors, anaesthetists, nurses and etc who got me ready; pushed me into the operating theatre within minutes, got my half body sedated and comforted me at the same time. I can never be fully prepared for such an event. Shivers and cold sweat kept running through my entire body. Dr L was great – she came next to me; explained some necessary risks in such an operation but assured me that they will do their best. I am thankful God answers prayers. We had always wanted her to deliver Xi En when the time is right; but we knew we didn’t have a choice of doctors as we were on subsided rates. It had to be a “God-incident” that Dr L “happened” to be on duty, finished the other c-sect in time to deliver Xi En. 🙂

31st July 2009; 10+pm

The operation was a success. Dr L went out to tell Kim that mother and child is safe. I was wheeled into the post-operation room and thereafter transferred back to the normal ward once my condition stabilised.

Once out, Kim told me the neo-natal doctors were working on baby; he didn’t get a chance to see our precious baby yet. He needed a lot of help due to his pre-maturity and lack of amniotic fluid. We were relieved that baby was delivered; but couldn’t rest till we knew he was “safe”. Kim went back to the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) several times to get more updates. I couldn’t sleep without at least seeing a photo of him…seriously which parents could rest without seeing their new born at all? Finally at 3+ am, the doctors allowed Kim one glimpse and one photo of Xi En to bring back to to the waiting mother. 🙂

When Kim registered his birth certificate, he commented that this paper is probably worth more than any other certificates he has held in his entire life. I couldn’t agree less. After 10 weeks of anticipation, it is no wonder that the harvest tasted sweet to the farmer. 🙂

Ethen Chen Xi En's birth cert

Currently, our little fighter is progressing well in NICU. He started from a big ventilator to a small ventilator to zero dependency on ventilator. From numerous tubes on his small body to just 2 tubes yesterday as well. 6 days after his birth, he cried for the first time; a good sign to show that he is working his lungs! He had also started feeding on breast milk and yesterday, Kim could touch and stroke him for the first time too! (making me so jealous that I wasn’t there to join him… another motivation for me to recover asap!). We are hopeful that very soon, he can “graduate” from the NICU and move on to the step-down unit and subsequently to the special care nursery! 🙂

God is good all the time and all the time God is good!