Special Delivery

Following up from my last post, our darling little boy has arrived!

Eizac Chen Kai En – God’s special delivery to our home.

His birth story is not as eventful as his older brother’s (thankfully) but quite an experience by itself. Before my post-delivery cotton brains become more fluffy; here goes the story:

30th January 2013; 9am

It was Week 37 + 3 days of gestation for Baby Eizac. I had the next week planned out before the scheduled caesarean on 6th Feb 2013. There were a million and one more things to complete before Baby Eizac’s arrival. With the pending Chinese New Year festival season; we were trying to get ready for the festive days; settle Xi En into his not-so-new school + get ready the house & resources for Eizac’s arrival.

I drove Xi En to school at 9am and my mum decided to take the day off to visit my nephew in the west.


Cleared most of my work-related matters. Passed some documents and keys to my colleague who drove by to take over my work. Settled down at home to finish up on my Korean drama serial. Last few episodes to go; best to finish up before my life is all about washing milk bottles; breastfeeding; soiled diapers and more soiled diapers. 😛


Had my lunch. I recalled it was instant noodles. Was hungry again at 130pm. Ate some chips and chocolates. Finally full by 2pm.

Decided to nap at 2pm. Such luxury is only reserved for the heavily pregnant. 🙂 Before I could even lie down on the bed, I felt a gush of discharge. Experience tells me it’s not too good.

Quick check in the loo to discover a river of unstoppable bleed.

That’s it – I told myself. Eizac must have decided to go heads on with the placenta!

It was a moment of panic. I was A.L.O.N.E at home. The hospital bag which was meant to be packed is still somewhere in my head.

I don’t want to be delivering my baby at home!

Breathe-in; Breathe-out; I told myself. Think straight. Yes – In & Out; In & Out (no, not the burgers!)

While trying to stop the bleed; I called 995. Amidst my panicky voice, I managed to tell the operator my address and explained the situation.

And amazingly; I managed to grab a bag and threw in most of the essential stuff which I might need (told you the hospital bag was “in my head”).

Called Kim next and told him baby’s on his way!

Sent a SMS to my obstetrician next.  I was so worried that she wasn’t back from her travels. She did highlighted that she was travelling during the week and I wasn’t sure if she was back in town.  Thankfully, she replied almost immediately to say she will see me directly at the delivery suite. Phew… it was a huge relief to know that my trusted obstetrician will be delivering Eizac.


Ambulance arrived with the paramedics in 10 mins flat. I managed to lug the bag, my tummy and myself to the door. The paramedics asked me to get onto the stretcher (propped in a sitting position).

I told them I need to lock the doors first because no one is at home. I wasn’t thinking straight I think. They scolded me and told me they will lock up. Asked me to get on asap.

Errm.. I forgot I called for help, hey. :S


It was taking so long to get to the hospital. I whipped out my trusty iPhone and turned on the GPS. Found out that the driver was taking a longer route than what I would have taken. Told the paramedics so and they assured me that the driver knew where he’s going. But of course.

Kim reached earlier than me. His cab was faster than the ambulance.

I arrived at the delivery suite by 230/240pm. It’s all so familiar again…. déjà vu. Seemed like just yesterday I was here; struggling with my first pregnancy.

Settled in; CTG machine on. I text Dr again to let her know I reached.


Dr came and did all the necessary checks. No dilation. CTG readings seemed ok. No distress signs.

She consulted with us and we all agreed to go ahead with the caesarean today. But my last intake of food was at 2pm and a safer guide will be to do the operation 6 hours after last meal.

Because of placenta previa major, she was undecided if we should go with an epidural or a full-on anaesthesia. The concern is – if the loss of blood was heavy during the caesarean; they would need to transfer me to another theatre and put me on anaesthesia to stop the bleeding.

After consultation with the anaesthetist, we opt for the half body epidural… first.


Dr came in again and said that we need to wait a while more for the operating theatre to be freed and the anaesthetist to finish up with the last operation.

And so we waited; I waited; Eizac waited.


Finally! Everyone was ready!

The nurses pushed me down the special passage way and handed over to the OT nurses. Kim was led away to another “secret” waiting area for all the daddies. He wasn’t allowed into the OT because we choose to be in a subsided ward + it was considered an emergency caesarean (again). He was happier this way ‘cos he’s not a huge fan of anything bloody (except medium-rare beef). 🙂


Though it wasn’t my first caesarean operation, I was still a pack of nerves.  There were at least 10 staff buzzing around in the theatre; doing their daily jobs; while I wait like a lamb to be slaughter. Ok; not really. Just almost akin to that. 😛

The anaesthetist was a confident man and called the shots in the theatre. He prepped and started off with the long needle.

One nurse was holding my shoulders to keep me from jerking (it was cold and I was all nerves). Another nurse came over and asked that nurse if she want to go for her break first; she can take over. “NO!” I almost screamed. I asked that 2nd nurse to go away. Leave the first nurse in her position. I can’t guarantee that I won’t move in the midst of the administration of the epidural! Don’t mess with a pregnant woman in the middle of a epidural administration! Grrrggg…..

815 – 830pm

Obstetrician came in her scrubs. Reassured me that she will do her best.

The assistant anaesthetist tested me with an ice pack. This time round, they waited for me to give an all-clear before Dr proceeded with her knife.

During Xi En’s time, I remembered they couldn’t wait for the whole effect of the epidural.

830pm – 850pm

I felt the tugs and nudges. Oh and the familiar coldness of the effect of the epidural.

They tug and pull and pushed. Finally, the anaesthetist (a slightly bigger-built guy) helped to push Baby Eizac from the upper half of my abdomen. Man.. he has some strength!

Wail!!!!!!!! I heard the cries. It’s so relieving to hear him. Dr exclaimed that he’s huge!

The nurses whisked him off for a clean up and checks. But they didn’t bring him back!!!

I thought this time round, I could have a warm fuzzy shot of my newly delivered baby on my chest. Ermm.. not so.

They didn’t tell me what happened. Just said that the doctor was checking him.


It was taking longer than usual to sew me up. I was staring at the clock and almost dozing off with the calming medicine they pumped into my iv drips.

Subsequently Dr told me that she purposefully waited to see if there were more bleeds before she proceeded with closing me up. Thank God, the bleeds from the placenta weren’t that bad.

Finally I was done. The nurses came back and told me that Eizac was sent to the Special Care Nursery (SCN) due to some breathing issues. My heart skipped a beat while I was sent to the recovery ward.


Dr came by to see how I was and told me she will help to go to SCN to check on Eizac.

She came back and reassured me that everything seemed fine. Eizac was opening his eyes and drinking milk while she was there.

It’s probably a transient issue.


I was sent to the post operating area (POA). It’s not the usual ward as Dr decided to be more careful due to my hyperthyroidism issue coupled with placenta previa major.

Kim came by and told me that he saw baby Eizac.

He’s so cute and round! Of a very healthy weight too – 3.235kg! 51cm.

All was good. They just need to keep him in SCN for a night to observe him further.

31st April 2013

Baby Eizac Chen Kai En – our 2nd precious darling boy – was discharged from SCN.

Both of us were finally in the regular wards.


It’s day 51 today and he went through 6 jaundice and 2 thyroid checks. We were in and out of KKH and the polyclinic throughout Chinese New Year till now.

Finally his prolonged jaundice was cleared up after 1+ month and the doctor gave him an all clear for his thyroid panels as well.

He’s a cute little bundle of joy and I am so happy to celebrate motherhood 2nd time round!


My PPROM story

Penning this story down as I realised that my PPROM birth story is scattered all over the blog.  Sincerely hope that my story and many others’ will encourage someone who had to walk a similar road.

PPROM – Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes

PPROM is defined as a condition that occurs in pregnancy when there is rupture of membranes (i.e. the  membrane sac holding your baby and the amniotic fluid breaks open before you are actually in labour). It’s defined as PPROM when such condition occurs before 37 weeks of gestation.

It was a normal day for me.

Normal as in – normal to see blood; normal to see more blood.

It was my first pregnancy. Excited, wide-eyed and totally ignorant of the world of pregnancy; Kim & I were thrown into a whirlpool of events which saw us going through one of the darkest moments in our lives.

I started spotting right from the moment the doctor confirmed my pregnancy. Subsequently, the spotting progressed to severe bleeding during 11-12 weeks of gestation. I was ordered bed rest and took leave from work to rest as much as possible. Subsequently, blood clots in the uterus showed signs of dispersing and thus I went back to work for about 3 to 4 weeks.

Lo and behold, bleeding started again at week 19-20 weeks of gestation. It progressed to heavy bleeds which almost shocked the life out of me. Every time it happened, thoughts of losing my precious baby came into my mind. That’s it – my baby is gone – or so the worse of me thought.

But God is good. He preserved my little life throughout the non-stop bleeds. I probably saw more blood than I ever did it my entire life! Yes, it’s worse than the monthly woman’s cycle.

Going back to my normal day.. I was back at home after a week’s stay at Thomson Medical Centre.  By then, I was used to checking if the bleeding had worsen or lighten. But something was different… The bleeding seemed to have lighten and it’s giving way to some form of clear fluid. I had absolutely no idea what that was and thank God for 2 well-meaning friends (J&J)who rushed me to consult another obstetrician.

It was a tough time in the doctor’s clinic.  After a check up, he ruthlessly drew up a table for us. He announced that my water bag had burst and I might go into labour any time.

I was crying nonstop. What does that mean!?? What is a water bag to start with? I was clueless on what he was saying given that this was our first pregnancy. All I could remember was this chart which he drew up: Probability of baby’s survival vs Potential Complication vs Cost Involved. The odds were totally not in our favour given that I was only at 21-22 weeks of gestation.

Upon his advice and the lack of any form of pregnancy insurance, we rushed to the local hospital – KKH – to get me admitted. I was admitted late at night and I cried myself to sleep. Kim couldn’t stay with me given that it’s a shared women ward. It was one of the most difficult night in my life. The unknowns await the daybreak. Doctors and nurses flew in and out of the ward; busyness went on around me and I was positively sure the little life in me was still beating strong too. Series of tests, scans and questions confirmed the situation. Rare as it might be; this hospital had seen such situations before — PPROM.

Given that it’s a public hospital and I was in a subsidised ward, scores of doctors visited me throughout the first few days. A few offered the option of terminating the pregnancy. Due to the many unknown factors, your baby could be born with severe disabilities, cerebral palsy, deformed limbs, damaged lungs and would require resuscitation upon birth – so they said. The list was endless. Counsellors were sent to us to prepare us for the worse should we choose to continue with the pregnancy. I burst into tears the first time a junior doctor (without much EQ) came to me with the termination option. Subsequently, I stared defiantly at any other doctors who suggested the same option. They knew my answer before they hear me. It pierced through my heart that I have to choose an abortion when my little one seemed so alive and putting up a fight. I don’t have the heart nor right to choose his end. But of course we had to be prepared for the worst of the future too. It was beyond reasons that we did not hesitate in not giving up on him. Come what may, his heart was beating strong inside me and that’s enough reminder that I wouldn’t give up as long as he held on to living.

Doctors pretty much left me alone thereafter. They started the usual protocol of handling similar cases. I was on IV antibiotics immediately when I reached the hospital and subsequently on oral antibiotics when there seemed to be no signs of infection. Infection and labour signs were 2 key things the doctors were looking out for then. I settled into my little corner in the ward. I was in the general gynaecology ward and made friends with my neighbours to wind away the days. We were filled with hope when I finally crossed 24 weeks of gestation! It was the week of viability. The week that doctors would save my little baby if he was born then. Prior to 24 weeks, it won’t be “viable” for the baby to survive in the outside world.

I was “promoted” to the obstetrics ward thereafter. It’s emotionally tougher there as my room mates were mainly mothers who came and went after delivering their little ones. I was constantly reminded that I could not go home; I needed to stay in this fight of survival with my little life. The longer baby stays in my womb, the better it is for him. It’s frustrating to hear neighbouring new born babies’ cries after a while. I retreated to a corner bed by the window; into a routine of weekly scans; 2x to 3x per week of blood tests; medicine and complete bed rest.

The best part is probably food. Smile For one who enjoyed food, it was a fortunate thing. I ate almost 5 meals a day in a desperate attempt to increase my baby’s birth weight. As we had no idea when he could be born, it would be ideal to get him as much nutrients as possible. Contradicting as it might sound, it got to a point that I almost hated eating. This would sound weird to those who know me well. I love food. Sad smile I could memorize the daily hospital menu to the dot. It tasted horrible after 2 to 3 weeks. I got anyone who is visiting to get me food from outside the hospital. It seemed to be a chase against time to increase the weight of my little boy.

I had durians too. It was the season for durians! Thank God I love durians! My parents-in-law and mum smuggled lots of them in and I feasted them with my neighbour who was in a similar condition as me. We had an open durian party once when there were just 2 of us left in the 5 persons ward. It was a rather silly sight thinking back; 2 mummies-to-be gorging themselves with durians in a desperate attempt to increase the weight of our little ones.

It was not easy being on complete bed rest but I got permission for toilet breaks and that kept me sane and clean at least. I settled into a routine of waking up at 6+am; waited for the doctors’ rounds; a quick shower; breakfast; popped pills, blood test; scans; mum visiting with lunch; occasional visitors; nap; books; laptop; prayers; music on ipod (iphone wasn’t that available then!); Kim visiting daily after work. It was tough on him then that he had to drive to and fro Johor for work daily.

Minutes became days became weeks became months. We were not complaining because we held the hope that a day passed with my baby snuggled in my womb is a day gained. It’s a easier hospital stay when your thoughts are filled with a hope for the future. An intern doctor touched my heart while I was on bed rest too. Thank God for sending angels.

The tougher times came when I was close to 29 weeks of gestation. Baby’s heartbeat started showing signs of deceleration and took longer to recover. I was a pack of nerves when I had to be pushed in and out of the delivery suite. Inside the delivery suite, I had less freedom. Strapped onto the CTG machine 24/7; no toilet breaks; on/off bleeding started. It was a super uncomfortable small bed and no visitors were allowed except spouse (it was the height of H1N1 then).  Being “released” from the delivery suite every time felt like a victory won in a battle. The feeling was indescribable. Crawling back to the hospital bed which I called home for weeks was so comforting. But most importantly, I knew that a little more time had been bought for my baby. The doctors were trying to delay the birth as long as possible.

Finally on 31st July 2009; Kim came visiting with some of my favourite snacks. We had planned to have a quiet mini celebration for our dating anniversary. It was our 12th years of being together. Smile

I was once again in the delivery suite having “failed” the CTG readings again. We thought this would be the same as before……but we thought otherwise.

The CTG machine showed readings which were scary. Baby’s heartbeat was showing severe signs of distress. We were so thankful that our favourite obstetrician happened to be on duty in the delivery suite on that day. But she had an emergency caesarean to perform. She came into the suite; reassured me that they will continue to monitor. After what seemed like hours, the junior doctors were at a loss after futile attempts in examining for dilation. I almost wanted to scream my head off and tell them to back off. but of course I held my tongue. I wasn’t on any epidural then and thus I knew there wasn’t much dilation to start with.

Finally, our favourite doctor came to the rescue! After a quick examination, she said to us: “this is it. We are going to deliver your baby.” At her command, the nurses and doctors sprang into actions. They were quick! In minutes, they prepared me and pushed me into the operating theatre. Just before I left the delivery suite, I saw more junior doctors poring over my thick files and stole quick glances at me being whisked down the aisle. I felt like a specimen once again.

I was told to sign some paperwork (without my glasses) and then off I went into the operating theatre. It was similar to the many drama serials I have watched before. There were at least 8 to 9 people in the theatre. All performing different functions. I was trembling and shivering by then. It was a cocktail of emotions and nerves. I was so cold and thankful that a nurse put a warm vent next to my shoulders. I wasn’t ready for an emergency c-sect no matter how my mind was told. But of course God and the team were in control. Within minutes; the operation was completed. As expected, I did not hear a single cry from my baby. I found out later that he was whisked off immediately to be resuscitated and that he was seriously ill at the point of delivery.

The doctor went out to inform Kim gravely that our baby was with the neonatal team and that I was otherwise fine. My job was done; now my little one had to fight for his life. I didn’t know what was going on; but a sense of peace came to me. It was a simple sense of knowing our baby will be saved and be just fine. I was told that many were praying for us.

Little did I know that many things went on behind the scene to save my boy’s life. His birth prognosis wasn’t good. Kim witnessed the mini operation they performed on the sides of his lungs to drain out accumulated fluid. His little body was full of bruises due to resuscitation efforts. The small ventilator wasn’t enough to open up his lungs; they switched to the biggest one to help him breathe better. Of course, he was hooked onto numerous tubes/wires and etc. He was on morphine to help him with the pain and shock. I wasn’t told all these till much later. My poor husband had to wash away his tears every time he came back from the NICU. He bravely reassured me that baby was doing well.



I told myself not to cry when I first visited him. I touched his little hands and held my tears. We needed to be strong for him. But it seemed like he was stronger for us.

Xi En was a fighter; He fared better than expected by the doctors. He improved daily and slowly progressed to less dependency nursery.


After enduring 11 weeks in my womb with negligible amniotic fluid, 2 blood transfusions, multiple cocktails of drugs, arduous lessons on breathing cum drinking milk, 60 over days of hospital stay – Xi En was ready to go home with us.

He is such a mighty warrior. Born at 31 weeks of gestation; 1.27kg – he is now a 3+ years old healthy boy; feisty at 12kg. He enjoys speaking in Mandarin mostly; spurt words beyond his age; loves running and tearing the house apart. Though still lagging in weight gain, he is otherwise cleared of all birth complications and all development milestones are on track.

He is our little fighter of faith; testimony of God’s grace and miracle. My little hero!

xi en running

N.B: To all PPROM mummies – if you are reading this story because of PPROM and you needed someone to talk to or just some survival tips in the hospital – please feel free to contact me at evelyn_neo@hotmail.com