Our story in Motherhood Magazine – Dec 2010 Issue

During our long drawn moments at the hospital 1+ year back, while our little boy was yet unborn, Kim and I kept encouraging ourselves that Xi En will be A Miracle and he will live to tell the story. It was pretty much what kept us going day by day, hour by hour, min by min, sec by sec. Of course, being totally human, in our darkest moments, we had fear the worst before.

 

However, God proved to be real and so real in our lives. Our little boy was born miraculously and survived his birth journey for us to share his story with Melissa Especkerman, a writer for Motherhood Magazine.

 

Melissa read my pregnancy story on this blog and wrote the following article. This is probably a good summary of my pregnancy-cum-birth story till date. One of Xi En earlier photos in the incubator was featured too. Certainly hope that this article will go a long way to bring HOPE to others in similar situations. 🙂

Happy reading. 🙂

 

Bump1

Bump2

N.B  – This article was first published in Dec 2010 Motherhood Magazine. All credits due to Motherhood Magazine.

Intraventricular Hemorrhage

A recent cranial scan showed that Ethen has Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH). IVH is bleeding into the ventricles of the brain. It is categorized into different grades of severity; grade I being mild and IV severe. Ethen’s bleeding is grade I (thank God).

 

IVH is most common in premature babies, especially very low birth weight babies weighing less than 1500grams (Ethen was 1270grams at birth). We are definitely very concerned about this but doctors did assure us that his is a mild case and should not lead to further complications. However it is not known how long the bleeding will last. Hopefully it will resolve by itself over time. For better understanding, please refer to this website.

 

Updates: Ethen is currently 2.47kg and feeding on 55ml per 3hourly. He is still learning the suck-breathe coordination and hopefully can finish more feeds on his own soon. Once he is able to do that, he can be off the nasogastic tube (the tube that goes through his nose directly to the stomach). Please continue to pray with us:

  • for the bleeding to cease (no further complications)
  • Ethen will be able to master feeding on his own soon (no choking and coughing during feeding; controlled breathing on his own)
  • for a clean bill of health so he can be discharged very soon
  • Ethen will grow up to be healthy and strong

 

ethen 2

Ethen waving Hullo!

 

praying hands

Learning to pray at a young age! 🙂

 

 

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND”

2 Tim 1:7

Week 29 to 30+ : In and out of…. DELIVERY WARD (a.k.a prison cell)

This was probably of one of worst weeks @ KKH for us (that’s beside the first week when I was admitted). 2 Sundays back, I started having abnormal readings on the cardiotocograph machine (commonly known as the CTG machine). Most mums will know that this is the machine which is strapped onto the tummy once you go reached the hospital during labour. I was “ordered” to go to the delivery suite immediately after one of the daily monitoring readings. That’s because baby’s heartbeat showed signs of decelerations and I was having early contractions too. After much haggling with the registrar-on-duty that fateful Sunday night, I relented and was sent to the delivery suite. I was almost left with “no choice” when she called me on my mobile and said “ You have come so far, I don’t want you to lose your baby! I strongly advise you to go to the delivery suite NOW for closer monitoring. You can’t wait for your husband to come either; just go NOW”. That’s was almost 12 midnight; and the urgency in her voice shook my whole being. I managed to grab my pillows and was wheeled hurriedly into the labour/delivery suite. I thought….. that’s it – I’m going to give birth NOW! And baby is still too pre-mature at week 29!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How? How? Why? Why?

 

To me, the labour ward is a like an ER or a prison cell, depending on how long you were confined in there. It is a super expensive place too (6* price for less than 3* facilities and service!). But the most traumatising factor is probably the CTG MACHINE! Here, you are strapped (or tied) to the CTG machine and monitored 24hrs. You are not supposed to have any toilet breaks and you can’t move too much ‘cos the contact points might be lost. I felt that I like a prisoner, tied with handcuffs and not knowing my sentence! Doctors and midwives come and go – they can only say – “Let’s monitor”. I didn’t know my “fate” then; all I knew is I was stuck to that machine and that small bed for a long long time…. “miserability” at its maximum! 😦

 

I was given extra strong womb-relaxing medicine to prevent early contractions. Started on iv drips to provide nutrients to baby and hydrate me. I knew the doctors meant well; they want the best management for my situation but sadly to say most of them only took into consideration the “medical aspect” and ignored the “emotional aspect” of the patient. Kim and I were stuck in this small room for almost 3 days before I was “released” to go back to the normal ward (that’s after much pleading with various doctors). By then, I was exhausted to the point of giving up. We didn’t know how often such incidents might happened again (yup..subsequently we were sent back to the labour ward on 2 other separate occasions and “held captive” for 1 to 3 days); We didn’t know how to persevere further. The uncertainty of events were eating us up alive. Kim and mum were so worried I might deliver early and thus kept asking me to eat and eat… for a food lover – I almost hated eating for a moment. But we felt that we were racing against time; I had to eat to help baby gain more weight in the shortest possible time (primitive thinking you might say; but then again, that’s what a layman can do in desperate times like this!). But the weirdest thing is – after 2 weeks of all these “nonsense” – I actually lost more weight than before! Fingers crossed – the food had gone to baby and not me. haa… 🙂

 

This week, we settled back to a few days of normalcy (FINALLY!). I could finally sleep properly at night and Kim can finally go home for some much needed eye-shut and peace. However, we are still living by the day, by every single CTG readings (2 are scheduled per day; morning and evening). We knew by now that if we “fail” one reading, off we go again to the “cell”. As such, we are not able to receive guests readily as before (thanks to all who want to come by; but it is probably not the best time due to the uncertainty of the situation).

 

On a happier note, I am glad to announce that come tomorrow, we can start the count down to see baby Ethen! Roughly 3 more weeks to the targeted week to deliver baby (at Week 34+). Thus, we are praying hard. Praying that there will be no more decelerations in baby’s heartbeat, contractions will not come back prematurely, no signs of infections and baby will continue to grow heavier in womb (and for us all to remain sane and maintain a sound mind till then! haaa :)). Please stay with us in prayers for this final lap. 🙂

 

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12: 1-2

 

finish line