Waiting for your little one’s arrival is a lesson in patience and trusting in the Lord. For months before our due date we had been preparing for our little one’s arrival. Since one of my sisters was always early with her deliveries, I had been mentally bracing myself for the possibility of a pre-term birth. We did our best to put ourselves in the mindset of “it could be any day now” weeks before the actual due date.
My brother and family even visited two weeks before the due date, with the hope that maybe Little Randles would decide that their visit was worth coming out for. Apparently, he wasn’t willing to give up his 6-star hotel accommodations quite yet.
As the due date approached we kept on waking up with “this could be the day” in our heads. But our little one continued to wait. We became used to doing activities with the thought that, “this could be the last time that we ….” Not knowing when our son would be born, we took the liberty of going out on a nicer-than-normal date two days before the due date. The waiter asked us, “How many months do you have left?” We grinned and at his shocked expression when he learned that we were down to days not months! 🙂
The due date, October 12, came and went.
We suddenly had the realization that we could have a late baby. I don’t know why we hadn’t spent much time thinking about it, but we really had not planned at all for this option. We had gone from, “Hopefully he doesn’t come too early,” to wondering, “Just how long will he stay comfortable in there? It would be nice if he came soon!!!”
Our obstetrician appointments that started out as monthly had changed to every other week. Then they increased in frequency to weekly. And finally the week before the due date, we upped the dose of visits to twice a week. Each appointment within the weeks leading up to the birth, my belly bump was wrapped with two elastic bands: One for monitoring any contractions, and one for keeping track of the baby’s heartbeat. This CTG (cardiotocograph) delighted Little Randles; each time he got strapped up he attempted to use his kung-fu moves to knock them off (… to no avail). The assistants were shocked one day when they realized it was my sixth time being tethered to the CTG. They thought for SURE he would’ve come out by now! Nope… We were still waiting.
Monday night (after Friday’s due date) I wasn’t able to fall asleep. Around 2 in the morning, what we later determined to be the approximate start of labor, my Braxton Hicks contractions started to become steady and more uncomfortable. As I wasn’t too uncomfortable, and wasn’t sure how regular they were, I just stayed awake and started timing them. Eventually after 4am, deciding that they were closer than 10 minutes apart, I woke up Andrew. Although the contractions seemed decently regular, we were unimpressed with their strength. We had been told to stay at home as long as possible, or until the mom really thought it was time. I didn’t think it was time… so we just hung out at home. We were finally able to take a nap around 8 in the morning. Two hours later we woke up a bit refreshed but also a bit perturbed: the contractions that had been getting stronger and more regular had mostly gone away. We tried shifting positions and even going for a brisk walk to see if the contractions would return to their previous regularity. Finally in the afternoon we called the obstetrician. We were directed to make our way to the labor and delivery ward and get checked out.
Not in a rush, we got our things ready, ate a meal, and took the bus to the hospital. The nurses teased me that I was still smiling. To be honest, the contractions were uncomfortable, but the time between contractions wasn’t so bad. Once they checked me and realized I was 4-5 centimeters dilated, they weren’t willing to send me back home, so I was admitted.
Of course, we know how the general, text-book-case labor goes: contractions get harder and more regular, baby gets lower, and centimeter counts go up. Or in our case, the centimeter count stalled at 5-6. Thankfully they progressed more after praying and waiting 2 hours. But then progress slowed again once we got to 8cm. Not wanting the baby to become distressed since things weren’t seeming to progress on their own past 8, Oxytocin was administered. That’s when contractions became one on top of the other, pain got worse, breathing got hard, smiles stopped, and Entenox was used. Thankfully, progress was made! A bit of pushing, and at 6:21am on Wednesday, October 17,
Little Big Randles was born!
Introducing Gideon Joseph Randles
After Gideon was swaddled, warmed up, and fed, we were transferred to the recovery ward. My mom was waiting for me when we got there! Her plane tickets bought 3 months previously had her arrive in the middle of the night that Gideon was being born! (More on my mom’s visit in a later post.)
Now we are no longer a childless couple. Nope. We are one happy family with a healthy big boy!
Andrew is such a proud Daddy!
And even though I was tired (okay, more like overly exhausted), I was a very happy mommy.
I must say, our “accommodations” at Mt. Elizabeth were quite nice (aside from the LOUD renovations going on right above our room from 9am-6pm).
As part of the “package deal” for our
treatment stay in the hospital, they provided a fancy-ish dinner for Andrew and I. The butler that delivered the meal told my mom, “Alright, Grandma, time to leave.” Haha. Talk about being pampered :p
After two nights spent in the hospital, we were ready to go home. Although we knew we wouldn’t have professionals on hand to answer questions or help out (except for my mom that is), we looked forward to not being interrupted seemingly constantly by nurses, butlers, doctors, maids, etc…
The nurse responsible for discharging us was also responsible for changing Gideon into his going home outfit. We had come prepared with both newborn and 3month sized outfits. As I handed her a cute newborn sleeper outfit, I told her, “I don’t know if it will fit, but I have a larger one if need be.” She put it on and said, “Well, maybe he can wear it just this once.” Gideon fit by scrunching his legs into a permanent frog-like position! Oh well, he seemed not to mind.
Even though Singapore is known for their rules, there is no rule here requiring a carseat to leave the hospital. Consequently, the little guy rode in style, in mommy’s arms, for the taxi ride home.
Adjusting to life with a newborn in the house has gone about as well as can be expected. Our sleep during the night is more interrupted, our evenings have more crying and fussing, our trash has more dirty diapers, our living room has more baby items, etc… But it is worth it. We have a sweet, big, baby boy that brings tremendous joy to our lives. Already, we can’t imagine our lives without Gideon. We can’t wait to see how the Lord knits our three lives together!