Saturday, February 28, 2009

Settling down at home.

We came home after 6 days in the hospital. Loïc has jaundice and had to undergo 24hrs of phototherapy in the neonatal ward and another 24hrs of observation. He is doing much better although the jaundice has not fully cleared off. I try to put him under bright sunlight (but not directly under the sun) to help him get rid of it.

He is doing well, the first two nights were tough. He was not able to settle for the night and was up from 8pm to 2am on the first night and 7pm to 4am on the second night. Thank goodness last night he managed to settle down nicely. I manged to sleep from 1am-3am, 5am-7am and 8:30am-11am! It was definitely bliss. It might be because I have learnt not to put him into his bed but to carry him in my arms and settle him next to me in bed. The close proximity to me seems to work well for now. It's not a habit I want to cultivate but for now, whatever works!

For me, I am healing well and was back to my pre-pregnancy weight a week after birth. YIPPEE. I believe all the walking I did prior to delivery helped a lot in my easy labour and fast healing. Would definitely recommend that to pregnant friends. :-)

The wonderful big sister.

I gave birth to Loïc on the 20th and since then, Laetitia has been the perfect big sister. She wants to give Loïc hugs and kisses all the time, asking to cuddle him or carry him and telling him sweetly in French "it's okay, it's okay" when he cries. Since we came home (on the 25th), she has been very considerate towards him and is eager to help me do little things for him including buttoning his clothes when I change him, getting me a tissue to wipe his mouth after breastfeeding etc.

I am so proud of my little one.

Here's one of my favourite picture of the two of them.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Loïc is here!

After a week of on and off contractions, things finally got more interesting yesterday after my attempt to naturally induce my labour by going for a foot reflexology massage.

I had lunch with Etienne in the afternoon and was taking my usual long afternoon walk (I try to walk for at least 3 hours everyday to help bring on the labour) when I came across a Chinese massage place offering foot reflexology. I decided to give it a try since I did read somewhere that it could help bring on labour. I had a half hour session which ended at 3pm and then I continued on my walk to the grand magasin area. While walking, I felt my contractions, which I had been having on and off, getting closer and greater in intensity. I told myself that only when it is almost unbearable will I think about going to the hospital. In fact, I managed to go shopping (bought 3 skirts and a shirt in my pre-pregnancy size), tried to shop for a bag (but failed to find one I like) and looked at some stuff. Between 4-5pm, the contractions were starting to hurt much more. At this time my sister called from Singapore to check on me and I was still telling her about my efforts to induce my labour by walking, carrying heavy stuff, eating pineapples etc. As I was talking to her, at some points I had to stop walking as the pain was getting to me. Finally at about 5pm, I decided that it was enough to go to the hospital. The contractions were less then 5 mins apart and hurting quite badly. I called Etienne when I was in the metro to let him know that I was going home and then will take off to the hospital.

After reaching home (and grimacing in pain for most of the way), I managed to put the dishes away, start the dish washer before taking my small hospital bag and leaving for the hospital. I initially thought I'll try walking but by now, I was in so much pain from the contractions that I had to stop every time it comes on (which is about 3-4 mins apart). I barely made it to the main road before deciding to get a cab. However, there was no cabs in sight! After 10 mins wait, I tried making my way slowly but had to give up. Luckily an empty cab was coming in my direction and I managed to hop into it.

By 5:30pm I was in the hospital. The nurses asked me if I was alone and I explained that I wanted to verify if I was in real labour before having my husband join me. They took me into the delivery room, had me strapped to the monitors, give me an internal (I was only 1 1/2 cm dilated!) and told me they'll be back to check on the readings in 15 mins. During this time, I called Etienne and updated him. By about 6pm, the mid wife had taken a look at my readings and commented that I am having some serious contractions (they were 2 1/2 mins apart and VERY intense) and my waterbag broke minutes before. They decided it was time to give me the IV and call for the the anaesthetist to give me the epidural. Once again I called Etienne to update him and told him he could come after settling the logistics of who is watching Laetitia. I got the epidural by 7pm and Etienne got to the hospital by 7:30pm. By 8pm, I was 3-4cm dilated, and at 9pm 4-5cm dilated. It looked like it was 1cm every hour so we thought it would last another 6 hours.

At about that time, I started to feel the contractions again and when Etienne helped me to press on the button to add some dose for the epidural (I had a mobile epidural where I could control my dose of anaesthesia), we realised that for the last hour, there was no anaesthesia given. Slowly the pain returned while I waited for the new shot of pain relief to come. That was some serious pain and boy am I glad there is such a thing as epidural! My husband was a great help soothing me through the pain and it was really great having him next to me.

At around 10:30, I was checked and am told I'm fully dilated! The doctor decided to take some blood samples from Loïc's head to check on his pH as he had pooed inside to make a decision on whether to let him descend naturally or help him with some tools. Luckily, the results was good and they said they'll wait for him to descend naturally. At about 11:30pm, the midwife came back to check on us and said we're ready to push. After setting up everything, I started to push around 11:45pm, doing three big push each time before a short interval and Loïc came into this world at 12:05am!

The midwife did such a great job controlling his delivery that I only had two very small tear which needed 3-4 stitches each. I was bleeding slightly more then normal so they gave me antibiotic through the IV but otherwise everything was fine. Loïc had to be taken away to have his lungs cleaned and checked as he pooed in utero. Once all was fine, they brough him to me and I was able to put him on my boobs for a little suckle.

Loïc passed his first test with flying colours, scoring 10/10 on his apgar. He weighs 3.210kg and is 50cm long.

Here's a picture

Monday, February 16, 2009

Laetitia and mummy's belly.

Just one of the numerous pics we took over the weekend to have as keepsake of Laetitia and her little brother Loïc still in mummy's belly.

She is very excited about her little brother's arrival and has been telling him to come out to play with her. I can't wait for them to be able to interact and play together. She is such a sweet thing with smaller kids/babies and I'm keeping my fingers crossed and believing that she will be a fantastic big sister.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Je suis très belle et généreuse!

That was exactly what Laetitia told our neighbour a couple of days ago. The conversation went like this...

Neighbour: "Bonjour Laetitia" hello Laetitia
Laetitia: "Bonjour Madame" hello madame

... some small talk...

Neighbour: "Comme tu es mignonne." You are adorable
Laetitia: Oui! Et je suis très belle et généreuse! Yes! And I am very pretty and generous.

Me ----> eyes wide opened and looking a little sheepish: "Ah! Ma fille, elle n'est pas timide." Ah! My daughter, she is not shy.

She has been "embarrassing" me lately with her boldness and confidence. She goes to strangers and ask them "comment tu t'appelles?" What is your name, "Qu'est-ce que tu fais?" what are you doing and I'm always jumping in telling her to use "vous" instead of "tu" etc as it is deemed impolite in France to use "tu" with strangers or people you are not familiar with. Ah, the joy of the French language.

And sometimes she stuns me with the things she says and her humour. I bought her some cherries and when she was having some asked her to share with me. She gave me one which I ate and then when I asked again, she wanted to feed me so I let her and the moment I took the entire cherry in my mouth, she went "Ah, GOURMAND!" greedy and started laughing! Urrrghhhh..... my daughter calling me greedy. Sigh.... what am I in for?

So here's the cheeky child with her silly pomelo head again.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just waiting...

Well, I had an appointment with my doctor last week and was told that everything is fine even though I have been having more episodes of pain in the leg while walking (sciatica perhaps) and even fell the other day when I lost sensation in one of my legs right after I stood up. I laid on the floor for a good 5 minutes while I wait for my leg to regain sensation. It was not a pleasant experience and now I am much more careful when I stand from a sitting position.

So, the last day that I can be pregnant will be 6th March. A c-section will be scheduled for that day where I'll be 41wks5days when I have my next appointment on the 26th Feb. I asked if the C-section could be earlier but the doctor said no since there is no medical reason to do so. DUH. I guess I am just at the impatient and frustrated stage of my pregnancy and can't wait to give birth. I have been trying many natural labour inducing methods but it does not seem to be working.

Well, hopefully he'll be out sooner.... maybe this weekend or early next week will be nice.