Since knowing that we will be having a 2nd child (supposed EDD was to be 25 Oct 10), I’ve always thought the whole process will be business as usual, much like TJ’s back in Sept ’07. Even though TJ came out earlier than expected and D missed the delivery, it was still a normal delivery and we went home as a family of three.
For our second, the first two trimesters were smooth and I felt great. We were chilled being 2nd-time parents and just went through the months without much excitement. I was prepared to deliver in the public system in HK as we reckoned we wouldn’t be going back to S’pore this year, but God answered our prayers and everything fell into place in Jun and Jul, which proved to be quite a busy time for all of us. We had to clear our clutter, pack the stuff we need to ship back and stuff we need to lug back in our luggage. D an I also had to sort out the necessary legal and immigration issues before we took the plane back to Sgp on the 12 Jul 2010.
I didn’t think that soon after we got home, things would change so fast. We were happy to be home, made plans to meet this friend and that; I had thought we have a week of RnR before D went to London for his 11 days training and meetings.
I hoped and prayed that D would be around for the worst-case scenario, i.e. giving birth to our lil’ one way too early. When my waterbag sprung the leak at 25 weeks, we were told that the risk of me going into pre-term labour was high, but I still hoped that perhaps we could counter that risk factor and told my lil’ one not to rush.
And just when I thought things were looking good, D was home, I got my iPhone 4 and we made plans for the weekends, I was warded again and yet, I still hoped we could still hold the birth and give my lil’ one more time.
God’s timing is different from man’s and yet, even when things aren’t looking good, somehow we have something to cheer about.
For one, if this was my first pregnancy, I don’t think I would have been this calm.
Two, D and I are absolutely relieved that all these happened after we returned from HK. Not that HK’s medical system is third world, but there are enough horror stories we had heard about its public system.
Three, TJ is well taken care of by my mum when I had to be in and out of the hospital and that helped D and I to concentrate on our lil’ one. Especially now that she has to be in NICU for at least 2 months, we will be at the hospital every day, 5-6pm and spend some time with her.
Four, we aren’t thinking about the NICU costs too much right now. We had seen the 1st interim bill and if I would to use that as a gauge and extrapolate an estimated costs for a 2-month stay, it’s way too many digits to think about. We had talked to the hospital’s Financial Assistance people and asked about options, and we think the bill will still be large but we will manage it.
Our lil’ one needs the best care, we have an expert Neonatologist Dr Ong Eng Keow and TMC’s NICU is able to take care of her. Originally we thought we could hold the birth and register with KK so that if she has to be born premature, the bill will not be too large. But now it’s kinda late for that, and even though Dr Ong said that we have to option to go to KK’s NICU when our lil’ one’s condition is stable, D and I will not be doing it.
The reasons being, KK will still charge us since we are coming from a private hospital, maybe at least B1 rates; and I don’t think I wanna risk having our lil’ one being moved in an ambulance from TMC to KK even though the 2 hospitals are nearby. And one other reason, my aunty is a NICU nurse in TMC, she does the night shifts and it’s good to have another family member to watch over the youngest one.
Our lil’ one is still very light, she has lost some weight (was 970g yesterday, down 100g and today 5 Aug, it’s 930g) but that’s normal. She has jaundice and needs phototherapy, also normal. But we are glad she is off the ventilator since Monday morning and breathing pretty much on her own (the 4 painful jabs I had on my butt to mature her lungs prior to her birth helped a great deal). A few of her tubes have been taken out, save for the feeding tube.
When I returned from the hospital on Monday, Dr Ong called in the afternoon to tell me he was going to try to give her milk (it was all glucose water before that) and since I hadn’t produce any breastmilk yet, I told them to give her Enfalac preemie FM first.
I saw the Lactation Consultant before I left the hospital and asked questions regarding breastfeeding preemies. Basically I would need to pump every 3 hours, and have to try to do at least 6 times (best if 8 times). We bought the Medela Pump In Style since my 2nd attempt at breastfeeding isn’t going to be assisted by the baby, I needed a better pump and so far, milk is coming in and I’m just freezing whatever I have and taking bottles of frozen BM to the hospital every day. D just told me that the nurses are going to increase her BM intake from 1 ml every 3 hours to 2 ml every 3 hours, which is a good sign that she is absorbing milk and not having any reflux issue.
But with a young toddler like TJ around, I would also need to spend time with the boy. He had been acting up when I wasn’t around, can’t blame him cos D was also busy with both mum and daughter. Hence I try to spend as much time as I can during the day time, and later in the afternoon, D and I would meet at the NICU and spend an hour with our lil’ one and praying for her before heading home. Now, it’s a lot of time management on my part and just pump like a cow every 3 hours, starting at 6 am each day.
So this confinement isn’t really a confinement. It feels kinda odd not having to wake up in the middle of the night to take care of a newborn, yet I would rather do that than to have my lil’ one in NICU. Once she starts gaining weight again, I think I can be less stressful but the thing about preemies of this age and size is that things can change so fast and drastically and we are praying hard that everything that is going right for her now will continue.