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Experience: Labor through the Public Healthcare System at Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Experience: Labor through the Public Healthcare System at Women’s and Children’s Hospital

When we first found out that we were pregnant, the next few questions that came to mind were:

“What is the next step?” (this is a good site to have a look for those in SA!)

“Where should we deliver our firstborn child?”

“Public or private?”

“What is the system like?”

“How does it all work?”

“AHHHHH!!!!”

While I was being precious about my first baby and all, hubby (a physician in one of the Adelaide hospitals) was believer that if you are young, healthy and have a normal pregnancy, one does not necessarily need to fork out additional cash to pay for private hospitals for delivery.

I also have had friends who had their babies through the public system at Flinders Medical Centre, Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Lyell McEwin Hospital. They were all happy and satisfied with their experiences so that gave me some confidence as well.

I went through the shared care system where I would see my chosen GP monthly and only went to the hospital for my 12-week scan and 37-week scan. Personally, this was a great arrangement as my GP was only less than 500m from where I lived and I could easily walk there. Having been to the hospital on certain occasion I also think that seeing your GP might be faster than seeing a midwife in the hospital.

My Labor Experience

So, it was winter when my little one decided that it was all too cosy in the womb and refused to come out. At 39 weeks, I set up a labor induction appointment at 40+5 weeks with a heavy heart as I was all for natural birth at the time.

My due date came and went without any signs of labor, so I had to be induced through a balloon catheter (my cervix was not ready) at about 2pm on that fateful day. We were meant to let the balloon do it’s magic for the next 12 hours or so, but when I got checked next at 4pm the doctor said that she would be able to artificially break my water and so she did.

They then proceeded to inject some oxytocin as my contractions have not started despite all the help.

But finally the contractions came! I still remember it being 8pm and I was supposedly having a contraction every few minutes but not feeling much. At first it was so light I could barely feel it.

So I thought smugly, “Hah! I can do this!” I’ll just remain calm and listen my Hypnobirthing tracks.

BOY WAS I WRONG!

My contractions started getting really intense towards 10pm and by 12am I was all out of it. Hubby and the midwives thought that I was doing really well and was amazed by how calm I was, but man inside I was just screaming.

Whoever who said that labor is just like period pain must be out of their minds. I was calm and in the right frame of mind thanks to my Hynobirthing practice but sad to say it did not reduce the pain one bit at all!

So there I was suffering with about 4 contractions in 10 minutes to then find out then I was only 5cm dilated. No way I was going through many more hours of this unbearable pain and so requested for an epidural at midnight.

Thank goodness for modern medicine. I was so so grateful that the horrible pain was over, but we were only halfway there.

For the next 6 hours, hubby and I managed to catch some sleep before I was fully dilated and bub’s head was engaged. Yes, 6 hours! So glad I proceeded with epidural.

I started pushing for the next hour but nothing changed. We also had a little scare when my bub’s heartbeat was really low for 2 minutes and a group of 6-8 paediatricians, obstetricians, anesthetist and more midwives rushed into the room.

It was really odd as by the time everyone came into the room his heartbeat went back to normal. Such a drama queen even before he was born lol!

My obstetrician then gave me a choice, “Your baby’s head is still not out. We can either bring him out through assisted delivery OR you can continue pushing (!!!).”

At the time I was just wanting the baby out of me and said, “Whichever is the fastest option.”

Believe it or not, it took another hour to get bub out through episiotomy and forceps and he was finally born at 9am!!! Hurrah!!!

I think I cried tears of relief more than tears of happiness lol!

So what did I like about my experience at Women’s and Children’s Hospital?

  • I received great support from the medical staff during labor

My labor lasted more than 12 hours from when I was first induced, and yet I was never alone the whole time. Due to my long labor, I had about 4 midwives look after me and I thought that they were all experienced and competent. They did not force any unwanted advice/ideas on me and were generally supportive. I had less interaction with the obstetrician and anesthetist but felt as comfortable as I can be during labor.

  • I was able to request for an epidural even at the very last minute

It was my wish to have an all natural birth at first. When I showed the midwives my birth plan, they were all supportive of it. But when it all became too much and I opted for pain relief at the 11th hour, it was granted in less than 30 minutes. I understand that if I had gone private, this would not have been possible unless arranged beforehand.

IN SUMMARY

We saved about $3000-5000 by choosing the public route, and used that money for some portpartum recovery and help instead. Best decision ever!

Of course, everyone’s labor, needs and expectations are different. It also depends on what happens and the midwives/doctors on call on the day of your labor. But if you are healthy and young expecting mother and wondering whether the public system is good enough in Adelaide or South Australia, I would like to reassure you that it definitely is!

Till next time! xx

 

 

Project Love 3/365

Project Love 3/365

Today, I am grateful that my son only woke up once at night for a feed!! He is turning 7 months soon and was fussing a bit the night before.

He was pulling my night strap as well as an indication to drink! That was something new – soon he will be able to find the boob himself.

I am grateful for the green smoothie that my dad prepared for me. It was very.. healthy tasting haha.

My mom looked very nice in her white dress that she wore to work today. Hopefully I will get some of her genes in looking good and young.

I am currently in line to check my vision at the eye centre. Last week I found out that I have an 80% chance of having Glaucoma and it will be confirmed today whether I have it or not.

Regardless, I am thankful for detecting it earlier as otherwise it could lead to a loss of vision.

My helper is also helping me mind Baby E who is very quiet this morning – double win!

How to Bathe Your Newborn Baby – 11 Easy Steps

How to Bathe Your Newborn Baby – 11 Easy Steps

Bathing a baby seemed like the most daunting thing in the world, pre-baby.

What if they drown? What if they don’t like it and keep crying? What if they slip off my hands?

However, once you have a baby, you will have to bath them whether you like it or not. No one else is going to bathe your baby for you.

I would like to share my way of bathing a baby as he seems to enjoy his bath.

I learned most of it from my confinement lady and made a few tweaks due to personal preference.

It is so easy really, I wonder why I was so nervous about it at first.

What you would need to bathe your baby:

  • Baby bathtub – optional but it saves water compared to using a normal tub and is cleaner than using a sink
  • Bath support – optional but it makes my life so much easier!
  • Bath oil
  • Towel – normal, thin towel measuring 30cm x 70cm
  • Small cloth/handkerchief – optional

Please note that this is for newborn and young babies who have no neck control yet.

Step 1: Prepare bath

– Put bath support inside the baby bathtub.

– Fill the tub with warm water.

TIP – Fill water to slightly below shoulder level so that not too much of baby’s body parts are exposed to air (they might feel cold) but not too full that water will go into their ears.

Step 2: Put baby in bathtub

– Place baby into the bathtub.

TIP – Try to place baby slowly into the tub so that baby is not shocked from the sudden transition to the water. If the water is too cold or hot, the baby will probably cry out. Their face will be red or flushed after the bath if the water is too hot, so you will know to adjust it for the next time.

Step 3: Wet hair

– Wet the handkerchief and slowly squeeze the water to wet baby’s hair.

– Again, ‘slowly’ is the keyword, we don’t want to shock them.

Step 4: Wipe mouth

– Wrap the damp handkerchief (squeeze to remove water) around your fingers.

– Rub it against baby’s upper and lower gums to clean them.

– You can rub their tongue as well.

Step 5: Use bath oil

– I was recommended QV Bath Oil as it’s meant to be good and gentle for baby’s sensitive skin.

– I like it because 1) I can use it for both hair and body 2) I just have to rinse off rather than using another clean tub of water to wash off

TIP – One capful measures 5mL. Add 5mL to baby’s bath and bathe for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 6: Wash hair

– Using half a cap, mix with water and apply on baby’s head to wash hair.

– Make sure you wash the back of his head too.

– Add remaining half a cap to the bathtub.

Step 6: Rinse-Off Bath Oil From Hair

– Wet the handkerchief and slowly squeeze the water to wet baby’s hair while using the other hand to rinse off bath oil.

Step 7: Wash Body

– Using your hands, splash water to wet baby’s body.

– You can either clean their bodies by gently rubbing with your hand or by using the handkerchief.

– Make sure you reach his neck and behind his ears.

TIP – You will note that the water is a bit murky from the bath oil. This is normal. Do avoid splashing this water into baby’s eyes and mouth though.

Step 8: Wash Hands and Feet

– Sometimes the baby’s hands and feet might be out of the water so it is important to wash them specifically by rubbing them in water.

– Remember to wash their armpits and any folds in their hands and legs as well.

– Don’t forget to wash their private parts too!

TIP – Putting the handkerchief on top of their body helps them keep warm and not leave them exposed to the air.

Step 9: Play Time

– Depending on your baby, they might want to spend a little more time in the bath.

– You can sing some songs to them while splashing water onto their body to keep them warm.

Step 10: Dry Baby

– Put the towel over your thighs. I make sure that the shorter end (30%) is enough to dry my baby’s head and the longer end (70%) is enough to wrap around his body from his legs.

– Carry baby out of the bath and wipe them.

– Keep them covered in the towel while you carry them out to keep warm. It also helps to hug baby as well for that extra warmth and comfort.

TIP – You don’t have to wipe them too much, just enough so that they don’t feel cold. You can make sure that they are 100% dry in the next step.

Step 11: Apply Lotion

– Wipe baby until they are 100% dry. Areas that are easy to miss are their ears, neck, and folds.

– Apply lotion to face and body.

– I like Cetaphil as it is gentle enough for babies. I also noticed a huge difference in my baby’s skin (softer and moisturised) vs using olive oil previously. He had dry spots on his face, hands, and feet while I was using olive oil but they disappeared just 1 day after applying Cetaphil!

TIP – I used olive oil to moisturise my baby as I thought it would be milder since it is edible and chemical free but boy was I wrong!

IN SUMMARY

Voila, you’re done!

That wasn’t too bad, was it?

The only part that I dislike is filling my baby bathtub with my shower head as it takes about 3-5 minutes and I usually have to stand there to make sure that the water level and temperature is optimum.

Do you have an easier way to bath your baby?

Till next time, xoxo!

Reflections of a 29-year-old Mom

Reflections of a 29-year-old Mom

I became a mom this year. 

It is one year later than I’d like (I always wanted to have my first child at 28 like my mom), but that’s the way life is sometimes. 

I write this after putting my baby to sleep. 15 minutes of singing songs and “shh”-ing while carrying him. Something I gladly do every night. 

There is a certain satisfaction to seeing him fall asleep in my arms, looking so comfortable and peaceful.

For some odd reason, this would put hubby to sleep too. 

So there you go, two of my most precious people sound asleep.

I usually turn off the lights in the room so that baby knows that it’s sleeping time and not wake up after 30 minutes.

But what the heck. I need some me time. I’ll take the risk today.

Looking back, this year has been a big one for hubby and me.

Earlier this year, I told him our 2017 goals as a couple: build and move into our new home, have a baby and pass his clinical exams.

I even wrote them on sticky notes and stuck them on our toilet mirror and his computer screen.

It turns out, despite our best efforts to plan around it, that these 3 significant events happened in the months of June and July.

**

Baby just stirred and I had to resettle him. 

I lose!!

The lights are off as I am typing this.

**

It wasn’t easy meeting these goals. 

We were building from scratch and had to deal with our builder and then more than a dozen tradies post handover.

My birthing experience was full of drama but that is a story for another day.

Hubby had to deal with various house matters, a baby, a wife who had a somewhat traumatic birth AND prepare for his clinical exams.

I have since learned to go with the flow. There is no point worrying too much. Everything will eventually fall into place.

It was a stressful period but we made it!

We moved into our newly built home, had a baby and hubby passed his exams!

I am so very proud and satisfied that we achieved what we set out to do this year (with help of course).

And yet a small part of me is already asking, “What’s next?”

Balancing between the ‘satisfied’ me and the ‘what’s next’ me is a fine art.

I struggle with it a lot, especially after being a mom.

One should never be too easily contented, otherwise, they might not strive enough in life.

On the other hand, it is never enough. There is always more money to be made and more promotion to work towards etc.

So is it alright to put my legs up and just enjoy the rest of the maternity leave with my baby? 

‘What’s next’ me might have a problem with that.

But taking my own advice, I will just go with the flow. Take one step at a time.

After all, it is the journey that matters the most, right?

Things I’ve Learnt Since Becoming a Mother

Things I’ve Learnt Since Becoming a Mother

They say you will never understand how it feels like to a mother until you become one.

This can’t be truer.

I had my firstborn about 2 months ago. And these are some of the things that I have discovered since being a mother:

The world revolves around your baby

Eat, play, sleep, repeat.

Doing this every 2 hours (or however often your baby feeds) means that you will have hardly any free time.

By the way, you somehow also have to fit brushing your teeth, preparing meals, washing the dishes, doing the laundry and cleaning the house in between.

Oh, and also taking care of yourself.

You will feel like you should be doing more, but in the end all, you want to do is just sit down and rest.

Or play with your phone.

Then begins the endless dilemma on whether you should just take a break when he is sleeping, or be more productive.

And some people dare ask, “So what do you do at home all the time?”

“!!!”

You love every little thing about your baby

As a mom, your baby is perfect. You learn to oversee things that you may not like usually.

Every imperfection is perfect to you, even his poo:

Stubby legs? Awww look at those adorable folds. Cute!

Hair loss? Not to worry, it will grow back. Cute!

Huge double chin? Make that triple chin. Cute!

Poo explosion? It’s actually amazing how much he is able to poo at one go. *continues staring at the pile of mess he just made, snaps photo*

Projectile poo? He can do that?! Too cute!

Babies are more resilient than you think

We tend to treat babies as being super vulnerable.

In some aspects, they are.

Their hands are so tiny that you can sprain them if you are not careful when changing their clothes.

They can’t make their own food if they were hungry.

They can’t move to a more comfortable position if placed wrongly in the cot/bouncer/anywhere.

So many things could go wrong, but it didn’t.

That’s because they have the most powerful weapon of all: being cute.

And oh that smile! That toothless grin that makes your heart melt.

That is enough to make mummy and daddy (and grandma and grandpa and aunties and uncles and mummy’s friends etc) go gaga over him, and protect him from any harm.

Miraculously, my baby survived 2 whole months being cared for by an untrained first-time mum who has never really held or taken care of a baby previously.

In fact, my baby is stronger than hubby and I.

He sometimes only needs 2 thin cotton layer of clothing in winter while we are wrapped up in Uniqlo Down jackets and woolies, and still feel hot to the touch.

He is able to sleep in his cot by himself like a big boy, while mummy sleeps with daddy on the bed.

You will appreciate your partner more than ever

Taking care of a baby is a full-time job. It will be one of the most difficult periods in your life.

Solo parenting is no joke, and I experience that when hubby is at work.

Sometimes, after carrying him for what feels like hours to get him to sleep, you just want to get some rest yourself.

Only for him to wake up 15 minutes after his nap.

That’s when your partner comes into play.

Daddy to the rescue!

He picks up the slack when you need that rest.

He helps settle the baby, put him to sleep, change his nappy, carry baby when he is fussing etc.

Small little things that he does, and does willingly reminds you of how you made the right decision in marrying him in the first place.

You start to see him in a different light. Not just the love of your life, but being a dad as well.

After all, parenting is meant to be done together by two people.

IN SUMMARY

Having a baby is indeed a humbling and memorable experience.

I wake up everyday feeling blessed to have birthed my baby boy who is healthy and happy.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any experience being a mother, you will learn that on the way.

Just enjoy the time spent with your baby as they grow up too fast!

Till next time! xoxo