Monday, October 27, 2008

Birth Story

Six years ago today, A&E became ACE! Caitlin was born at 8.31 a.m. on a Sunday in 2002. Last night at dinner, we recounted bits of the birth story to her while she listened with interest and what looked like a prideful smirk on that cute cheeky face. Generally confident and sometimes full of herself, Caitlin takes after Eugene mostly in her looks (the nose especially), her food choices (pasta and cookies), and inability to delay gratification and vanity. Ha ha, this says some, (although I could make it lots if I want to) about Eugene right?! But bashing the dear hubby is not allowed here, not in this post anyway.

Sometime shortly after 11pm on 26 October 2002, a gentle but rather distinct 'pop' was felt in some part of my lower body as I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep. It was puzzling. E was away in Genting Highlands for a company event. I wondered if I had passed gas or something, ha ha. The idea that C could be signalling her arrival crossed my mind but I thought to myself that she wasn't supposed to be due until some two weeks later. I continued wondering since nothing else happened after the 'pop'. No dramatic sudden tummy aches, groans of pain or whatsoever like what happens in TV shows (in case those uninitiated think that's what normally happens when one is about to give birth). I wasn't expecting that anyway since we'd been well-informed by books and pre-natal classes.

I thought I'd complete my half-packed hospital bag since I couldn't go to sleep somehow. As I was packing, I decided to call the hospital maternity ward to get their advice if the 'pop' was anything I should take note of. Following their advice, I decide to go there for a check. If my water had broken, I should have felt a slight gush when I stood up but that didn't take place... My brother and his girlfriend (now my sis in law) who were living with us then, drove me there. We arrived around midnight. After a check by one of the maternity nurses, it was confirmed that my water had broken. A call to Eugene sent him fleeing the highlands, arriving some two hours later. I was surprisingly cool about the whole thing so far, up to the very end when Caitlin arrived in fact! No moans, groans, tears of fear or pain or complaints as far as I remember, but who knows, maybe Eugene thinks otherwise!

Contraction pains started soon after. Since I had decided on using painkillers, I asked if I could get some. They jabbed me and told me to rest. The jab didn't work and they came again to check on me and told me to sleep. But how to sleep with some kid trying to stab her way out of me? So epidural please, I said, and that was a great help. No regrets on my decision to avoid pain so that I have energy for the greatest job I had to do in my entire life! I slept like a baby only to be awakened from my peaceful slumber just before 8.00am the next morning to be told that it's time to push.

The greatest job was very much like a tug-of-war in terms of the determined shouts from the midwife, coaching me on when to breathe, when to push, how to push....with the unsure husband holding my hand, not daring to be anywhere else other than beside me! Hee hee, the typical male who can't stand seeing or listening to 'gory' stuff!

Within half an hour, the obstetrician held up our slimy, purplish, scrunched-up face child who let out a cry. I think I would have been like that too if I had been upside down for some time and forced to leave my snug cocoon! It was a moment of mixed feelings and comically to me now as I reminisce, my first words directed at the doctor was "Why is she so purplish?". Ha ha! "They're all like that" she said. Phew....

A few hours later, we were handed a little papoose, cleaned and swaddled like a doll, her full head of hair nicely washed and combed with a side parting!

Hello Caitlin, tiny as a kitten, fragile as a flower. Her name is Caitlin Sophia. Caitlin means 'pure', Sophia is 'wisdom'. 

Six years later today, Happy Birthday Caitlin, grown as a young, schoolgoing child, strong-minded, cheeky and mischievous, vain as her father, stubborn and short-tempered like her mother, lover of books, animals and all things fun, loved by all in the family.

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