We knew he was going to be a big boy and it was likely that he will come into our lives earlier than first estimated. But when you have your first child, nothing you have ever done or read would prepare you for what's to come! A short recap of how the delivery went.
21 Sept, 2017. 12am
My wife Joanne starts feeling frequent contractions, about 10 minutes apart. We had been expecting the birth of our first child the previous week, but there had been some false alarms. But this time, it felt like the real deal. Under the advice of our gynaecologist, we leave for the hospital and check into the delivery ward at around 1.30am. Joanne is hooked up to a CTG machine to monitor her contractions and the baby's heart beat.
The contractions are regular but we are still many hours away from the final stages of labour. The doctor checked in later in the morning and administers the induction of the birth.
We had been in the delivery ward for over 14 hours, and induction didn't seem to work. Our doctor makes the decision to go for a Caesarean section to ensure a safe delivery. Joanne and I are not mentally prepared for the operation, but we are relieved knowing that we will definitely be seeing the baby very soon. The medical staff move Joanne to the operating theatre. I join her after changing into medical robes.
21 Sept 2017, 5.18pm
Baby Oliver emerges, wailing, from his mummy's womb. Our anaesthetist, who helped to push him out, quips that he looks like her daughter at a month old. He is indeed a big package, weighing in at 3.715kg and with a head circumference of 35.5cm.
With the baby settled in the nursery, I was told to wait for Joanne to come out of the operating theatre. This is where I bumped into junior college schoolmate Calvin, whose wife was going through a Caesarean as well. Half an hour later, he came out with his own bundle of joy.
We were allocated a double room because all the single rooms were already taken. December must be a popular time to make babies. We attempt Oliver's first breastfeeding, and it seemed fairly successful. Newborns don't need much milk in the first few days though, but it was good to have some skin-to-skin between mother and baby. Joanne looks radiant.
We're finally at peace after a long anxious wait. Joanne is unable to sit up due to the operation so the nurse helps her to feed Oliver while lying down. It will be several weeks before she fully regains her strength, so I will need to do most of the heavy lifting in the meantime.
I couldn't stay the night as it was a double room, but it had been a long day and it was going to be much more comfortable in my bed than on a hospital sofa. We were lucky that a single room was available the next day, and it made it easier for the grandparents to hang out with us and Oliver.
More to come.