Andrew: We wanted to combine this entry with the post on Gleneagles Staycation, but the post became too long and difficult to write coherently, hence we separated it. This was logical too, given that the birth story deserves a post on its own!
The labour process took a while as we waited gradually for Dear to enter into active labour. Gynea checked in a few times and we both had time to slip in a few naps here and there and watch some TV too. I will never forget that we were watching Wheel of Fortune before Emmy arrived, commenting how the puzzles were so ‘Americanized’ and also on how Pat Sajak and Vanna White never seemed to age. LOL. Soon enough, Dear entered active labour and the ‘pushing’ process began. With 4 hard and long pushes, Emmy arrived! It was surreal how fast the whole process was. Must have been all the naps that helped Dear gain all the strength to push – or perhaps the motivation that the nurses gave that she will get a diamond after pushing. *shudder*
Jasmine: I don’t ask for much, just the Dior Bagatelle ring:D
Personally, comparing Dylan’s birth and Emmeline’s birth, I no doubt prefer the experience of birthing Dylan. I felt very much more in control as I was able to stay at home and eat, shower and rest during the early stage of labour, going into hospital only when my contractions were five minutes apart and ready to enter active labour, which was why our whole experience in the birthing suite for Dylan took two hours from the point of entry to the delivery.
However, with Emmeline, we checked in and spent almost nine hours in early and active labour. The experience was quite immobilising as I was on epidural and could not walk but had to remain on my back- this is actually quite contrary to the natural rhythms of labour, where you can walk to relieve labour pains and rest when you need to. However, the good thing was that it was a natural birth that didn’t need further assistance- when the contractions started coming hard and fast (like every minute), the pushing only took twenty minutes and four pushes and our little Russian doll was out!
Andrew: The moment she arrived, our little girl was wrapped up completely, which has thus earned her the nickname of ‘Russian Doll’ or Dolly. She’s so cute!
Mummy: My first thought was, she’s beautiful! My second thought was, she’s got Andrew’s lips but they look good on her! Pouty. Heh.
Daddy comforting little girl – trying to examine if she has any moles, like Dilly!
Emmy taking her first peek at the world, looking even more like a Russian doll!
Emmy @ NICU
Andrew: Emmy had to be put in the NICU for a while, because her breathing was a little ‘grunty’ and there were concerns about whether there was still water in her lungs.
However, it was really nothing to be worried about as our ped told us later that it was more that Emmy couldn’t be kept any longer in the delivery suite, but also couldn’t be moved to the nursery as her breathing hadn’t stabilised, so they put her in the NICU as a ‘lodger’. Wow, this little girl is really getting the best treatment from birth eh!
Jasmine: With Dylan, we were able to initiate breastfeeding minutes after birth, which was a wonderful experience, as he was quiet and alert, and it made for a lovely hour of family bonding time before he had to be taken away and washed.
With Emmy, due to her breathing issues, we weren’t able to initiate breastfeeding for several hours, and she unfortunately had to be put in the NICU. Of course, I was pretty worried when I heard “NICU” and “lung problems”, especially since I was having severe afterbirth pains and couldn’t do much apart from intermittently whatsapp family/ friends to update them on Emmy’s condition, based on whatever I heard from Andrew, who went down to NICU to check on her, or so he said…
Andrew: I couldn’t stop taking pictures of her and must have spent about 20 – 30 minutes at the NICU, taking photos of her. The nurses must have thought I was a little crazy, especially when I set the timer, so that I could take this shot:
Well, it was more for Jasmine’s peace of mind as she had asked me to go to NICU to let her know how baby was doing…. so, my photo-craze is perfectly understandable!
Jasmine: I never expected Andrew to take a NICU selfie?! I really have unleashed a trigger-happy man.
Emmy arrives in our room!
Andrew: After her short stay in the NICU, Emmy finally arrived in our room all wrapped up and peaceful.
What a beautiful head of hair and such red, chubby cheeks!
I had forgotten how delicate and light (!) a newborn was after carrying Dylan for the past few months. This little girl is light as a feather – I can carry her in one hand and she’ll just lie there peacefully and fall asleep, without squirming. Lovely!
Jasmine: Do not be fooled by these serene little newborn expressions.
It’s only been one week in, but based on her crying alone, we can already tell that her personality is different from Dylan’s. Dylan’s hunger cries were very sad and he could be coaxed to wait for his milk, whereas Emmy is a feisty little thing, who cries so loudly when she is hungry that her double chin just quivers tremulously, making you feel amused and sorry for her at the same time. In that sense we think that Dylan takes after his father’s personality while Emmeline takes after mine. Which is a good thing for a girl… I think. Heh.
Andrew: As it was a rather short stay (plus the time spent in the NICU meant Emmy could not have visitors the first day), our visitors were our immediate family members. Of course, we wanted Dylan to visit so we could spend time together as a family and not want him to feel left out. We heard he was really cranky the first day after he came to visit, so we’ll be spending more time with him, so that he won’t feel left out.
Jasmine: What helped was that we prepared a present from his baby sister to him, plus we and my family played with Dylan when they brought him, instead of cooing over Emmeline straightaway, so that Dylan wouldn’t feel neglected. In fact, Andrew and I also tried to fuss over Dilly first whenever he came to visit, instead of holding Emmeline, so that he would get his fair share of attention.
Andrew: Back to the hospital visit, he had lots of fun running around and eating my bread bun!
Jasmine: Of course, this entry would not be complete without some family pictures!
Our first full family portrait!
Jasmine: We’ve been teaching Dylan to use “soft touch” on his penguin and Chong Chong bear, in preparation for his meeting his sister for the first time. Here’s Dylan stroking his mei mei! He also loves to dig her ear and peer at her when I’m breastfeeding her. Of course, sometimes he still gets a bit excited and pokes her but I’m sure it’s not intentional. Heh.
What a loving brother
Shots of our families:
Andrew: To end off, we’d like to say a big thank you to Jasmine’s mum and siblings for taking care of Dylan while we were in the hospital. We could see that he was well taken care of and had a great time at Skang-rila, once again. Heh. In fact, if we have time, we might do another post of his staycation there.
Jasmine: One last thing, it really is easier the second time around. Though both were natural births, my recovery from Dylan’s birth was much longer and more painful, whereas with Emmeline, I was able to get up and potter around that same night after the epidural wore off (she was born at noon). I can’t say I’d wanna go through childbirth again but I am grateful that baby Emmeline was born safe, sound and healthy!