Bid farewell to Hao Re's best friend - Jiu-jiu

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And cycling at the East Coast Park

It's too early for Hao Re to know what's actually happening, I guess, he is still too young. My brother, i.e., Hao Re's Jiu-jiu has decided to leave Singapore for good, and to try his luck at Sabah, East Malaysia, where his girl friend and family live. Somehow Hao Re woke up at 6.30am when we were about to leave for the airport, like he knew something was about to happen.

Arrived at the airport at about 7.30am. They checked in, paid for the extra lunguage etc, then we said good bye to them. Hao Re (and us) will surely miss his Jiu-jiu very much, as they are very good friends, Hao Re liked to disturb Jiu-jiu, liked to go to his room and sabotaged his stuff, and Jiu-jiu kept Hao Re accompanied at home, especially when hubby has to work late and I was busy in the kitchen. Our house will be quieter now, and Hao Re has 1 less playmate :-( By the time they meet again, Hao Re should be able to call "Jiu-Jiu" sweetly then :-)

A blur Hao Re with Jiu-Jiu and Yi Wen auntie

Jiu-jiu, let me help you push the trolley, I can do it!

A goodbye kiss........ so touching!

We left the airport at about 8.15am. Instead of going home, we turned to the East Coast Park. Last week when we visited the park, we didn't try cycling, so we decided to do it. Hao Re enjoyed the ride a lot! We cycled slowly (since I am pregnant) while enjoying the breeze and the view.

Hao Re was most interested in how to ring the bell

Stopped for a walk

Nice day with the blue blue sky, wasn't it?!! Daddy and son enjoyed walking by the beach

Hey, I met a new girl friend (someone we didn't know, the family was sitting next to us)

Hao Re was attracted to this pretty girl because of the BUBBLES!!! He was invited to sit down with the girl
(p/s: The girl is 2 years old and Hao Re is 14 months, doesn't Hao Re looks big......)

We went home after spending at the park for 2 hours or so. Hao Re was so tired by then, and fell asleep after finished his milk during the car ride. While Hao Re was sleeping, I quickly prepared his lunch - porridge with fresh sweet corn kernel and pumpkin. Hao Re loved it very much, and ate 1 and 1/4 bowl of porridge! While for us, my favourite instant noodle (Shin) with lots of vegetables and egg.

How I cook it: Bring the rice to boil, cut out the corn kernel, after rice started to boil, add the corn kernel, continue to boil until rice and corn soften. Add pumpkin (cut into medium size) and then simmer for 10-15 min. Ready to serve! It's very sweet taste, nice!

(p/s: Though he can chew pretty well now, some corn went in his stomach without going through the chewing/biting process, and the poo next day can still "detect" quite a number of the corn kernels in perfect shape :-0)

Then played with him for the next few hours until we went out for our dinner - chilli crab!!!!! Hubby and I have been wanting to have crab since last week. Honestly speaking, with a 14 months old active toddler in tow, we were still able to enjoy our chilli crab, this was considered very good! We gave Hao Re a bowl and a spoon and gave him some vegetables and rice from time to time to keep him occupied. We managed to enjoy our crab until the last piece, when Hao Re started to fuss. I let hubby have the last piece while I brought Hao Re to walk around. We only realised he was actually already tired, because as soon as we got on the car, he requested for milk and fell asleep before we reached home. Yeah, a nice and peaceful night for us :-)

This Sunday was a record for us - didn't go anywhere at all, the car engine was not started at all!!! We stayed home full day. We (or rather, I, as hubby was busy with work. However it definitely made me happier to have him accompanied us at home) were happily playing with Hao Re. I played with him, read with him, watched tv with him, or sometime just let him played on his own. Very happy day :-) And I fixed both lunch and dinner for the three of us! Lunch for Hao Re was egg fried rice (a bit advance for him, ya) and steamed tofu. Dinner for him was same with ours, raddish soup with rice. Today I found that Hao Re was able to drink soup from spoon properly without much leaking. Hao Re went to bed at about 9pm, as he only took 1x nap of 1 hour. In fact, nowadays, he usually only takes 1x nap (around 11am) on the weekends, while during weekdays at school, he still takes 2 naps (without fail, total about 3 hours) everyday. Wonder how could he adjust his biological clock?!?!

Overall, a peaceful, quite but yet, nice weekend!
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Amniocentesis or amniotic fluid test

Speaking from my OWN experience

If you read my previous blog entry, my second visit to Dr WK Tan, I was advised to do Amniocentesis and skip the OSCAR test (nuchal translucency scan and blood test for maternal serum PAPP-A and free beta-hCG) due to my age. After that visit, we actually decided to follow Dr Tan's recommendation. But after talking to some friends, reading some articles from the internet, and most importantly, for the fact that there is a 0.05% chance of miscarriage for patients undergo Amniocentesis. And I thought, I am actually STILL 34, going to be 35 in few months, so theorectically speaking, I am still not a high-risk group yet. So at the very last minute, we asked to do the OSCAR on the 03032009.

Unfortunately, the OSCAR resutls wasn't good. The first part, which is the nuchal translucency scan, was very good (that's what Dr Tan said exactly) and we saw baby happily bouncing and waving her arms and moving actively inside my tummy, and the sonographer said baby has a nice tall nose bridge. But the second part of the test, the blood test, was not good. By combining these 2 tests together (=OSCAR), the risk for me carrying a baby with Down's Syndrome is 1:194 (meaning there is a close to 0.05% chance that I might carry a Down's baby), while the "safe" cut-off risk should be of more than or at 1:300. Dr Tan called me personally to tell me this. When I picked up the call and heard her voice, I knew it's not going to be good news (else, the Sister will call, not Dr Tan).

Dr Tan advised to follow up with an Amniocentesis. I asked if I can opt out. She said of course, it's up to us to decide, BUT, the main question is, are we ready for a Down's baby? After discussing with hubby, our answer is "No". We are not ready for a Down's baby. So we went ahead to do the Amniocentesis, which was scheduled on the 24032009, at my 16th week of pregnancy.

Before sharing my experince, let me share what I know about this test. I am a Geneticist, so I understand this very well and thought should try my best to share my knowledge. Amniocentesis is a definite test. Unlike OSCAR, which only give you a probability or a risk factor, but can never tell for sure if baby has any chromosomal defects. Amniocentesis is opposite, it can tell for sure, 100% sure, if baby has any chromosomal defects. After the obstetrician takes about 20ml of the amniotic fluid, fetus cells will be extracted from the amniotic fluid, and then cells will be cultured in the lab so that more cells can grow. When cells have grown to a certain number, lab technician will then extract the DNA from the cells, and do a karyotyping test (i.e., to do chromosomal analysis and see how many copies chromosome one has). A normal person will have 22 pairs of autosomes (i.e., non-sex chromsome) and 1 pair of sex chromosomes, making a total 23 pairs. It has to be exactly 23 pairs, no more, no less. For a Down's baby, he/she will have 23 pairs + 1 extra chromosome (1 extra chromosome 21, that's why Down's is also known as trisomy 21). There are other chromosomal abnormalities but not as common as Down's. Bear in mind karyotyping test is only able to detect gross chromosomal abnormalites. So even the karyotyping test is perfectly normal, it doesn't mean that the child is disease-free, it just ruled out the possibility of those diseases linked to gross chromosomal abnormalities. Many other diseases, in fact, almost all other diseases, only involved one or a number of genes, meaning only changes on 1 of the very extremely tiny line of one of the chromosomes, which could not possibly be detected by the karyotyping test. Often, most of the changes on the genes causing diseases, cancers being one, are not inherited (not born to have the "faulty" genes), but rather the genes changed because of the environmental effect (diet, etc). Any questions? Happy to answer if you have any :-)

Now, this is what I experienced. Though I knew the whole thing very well, but I was still scared, very scared :-( Friends told me a super big and long needle will be poked through the tummy and it's PAINFUL. I was scared, but I tried very hard to make myself relax. Worst thing was they didn't allow hubby to go into the room to accompany me. So I told Dr TC Chang, I would be okay as long as he didn't show need the needle. So I only opened my eyes when Dr Chang showed me baby position and baby heartbeat. After that, I closed my eyes tightly. I didn't want to see anything, I stayed still and kept chanting to keep my calm. Dr Chang was kind enough, he said it's understandable that if I didn't want to see the procedure, but he would describe to me what he was doing, so that I knew exactly what's happening. So I waited until he said, here comes the needle........ and it's.......... okay! Not painful at all, just like any injection. The only different was, the needle got to stay in the tummy for about 1 min or so, as 20ml of amniotic fluid needed to be drawn out carefully and slowly so that baby was not disturbed. Yeap, all went very well, the procedure took less than 5 min in total. Dr Chang praised me for being calm and relax :-) The nurse showed me the amniotic fluid, it's actually clear yellowish liquid - to be honest, look very similar to our pee-pee. Since I was not brave enough to even have a peek on the needle, I can't confirm if the needle was indeed super big and long.

After that, I was asked to sit and rest for about 3o min before moving to make the payment. Also, I was prescribed for the Utrogestan (to stablise the pregnancy) and Amoxil (antibiotic). Both are expensive medicine, costs me $70.60 for 30 and 15 tablets each, gosh! Also, I was given 3 days of medical leave to rest well. First 2 days, cannot do any heavy duty work, don't walk too much (meaning strictly no shopping), and cannot carry my boy.

Finally, it's the payment time. I have been searching high and low for the Amniocentesis cost but to no avail (in fact, I learned that easiest way is to call up the clinic and ask, as simple as that). When we were presented the bill - the total is $1109.05 (incl. GST)!!!!! Shocking, shocking, shocking!!! But to our relief, we can claim $550 from Medisave, phew!

Results will be ready in 2-2.5 weeks time. By that time, we will know the sex of baby at the same time, as the chromosomal analysis will include analzying the sex chromosome (XX for girl and XY for boy). But the exciting news is when I saw Dr Tan after the test, she did a quick scan on me to make sure baby is doing well. And she told us, most likely will be a GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hubby is way too delighted! But it's yet to be confirmed. So I have to keep reminding him don't get over excited at this moment, still have to wait for another 2 weeks or so for the confirmation. But don't think he can hold his calm anymore :-)

Meanwhile, we are waiting patiently for the results. See ya! Do come back if you want to know the results and see how's my baby's chromosome looks like (Dr Tan promised she will give me a copy of the karyotype, yeah!)

p/s: I used to have 1 copy of my OWN chromosome (karyotype) during one of our lab sessions in uni time. But I lost it, such ashamed! Otherwise, it'll be cool to show people - see, this is MY chrosomome!
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Sand play at the East Coast Park

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A enjoyable Sunday for daddy, mummy and Hao Re!

There was no special plan for the past Saturday. We went to JB for a breather. Had our breakfast at our favourite local coffee shop, watched a movie, bought some clothes for Hao Re, and had our lunch at the Nandos (brought back our memory back in England - at that time, we were poor students, so we loved Nandos as it offers free flow of soft drink, we popped in to Nandos frequently on summer days to enjoy glass after glass of chilling Coke, shiok!!!). Then it's stay at home, and mummy cooked dinner for the family. Hao Re only napped for about 45 min for the whole day long! We don't force him to take nap if he doesn't want to. Good thing was he was thus very tired and went to bed at about 9pm without much fuss, phew! Hubby and I got to enjoy a peaceful night :-)

On Sunday, hubby had to go to office to take care of some of the more urgent stuff. I brought Hao Re to meet him at his workplace by taking the MRT. Hao Re was fine in the train, sitting either on his stroller or on my laps kind of quietly until the last 5 min. Couldn't sit still anymore and wanna walk around. I have to take out the pack of biscuit and only then he was willing to sit still once again.

We then drove to Katong, to have the Peranakan food at the "Kim Choo restaurant". Wow, great food, powerful!!! I like the assam fish so much, it's so nice, and the petai, totally delicious! Since we planned to have Peranakan food since last night, I cooked something for Hao Re. It's very simple, ABC pasta in pumpkin mash. Though it's a simple dish, Hao Re loved it so much, he finished everything, that made me very happy :-)

We then headed to East Coast Park. Let Hao Re play with the sand and hubby brought him to have his first touch of the sea! Fun time for him! Took lots of photos and it's a pretty good weather, not too hot but yet sunny enough. Hang out there for about 1 hour then headed back home to rest.

It's an enjoyable Sunday for daddy and mummy because we have had nice Peranaken food, while for Hao Re, he got to enjoy the sand play at the park. So win-win for all 3 of us :-)

All set! Steady, ready, go!

Oh, mummy, where are my feet?

Oh, it's okay. I find them now.

Admiring the sea? or the boat? or the sky?

First touch of the sea

Got very dirty at the end, with a wet jeans, and sand all over, even on his face

Cooling down after the play. It's an almsot empty cup that we gave him

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A little book worm

Cultivate good habit at young age

It will be very nice if we can help Hao Re to cultivate his reading habit at this young age, but it's actually not our intention. To him, at least for now, all the books are like his other toys, the only different is these book-toys have a lot of pictures to look at.

We have bought him quite a number of books, a few were either given by friends or handed down by our ex-neighbour. He simply loves books. He likes to flip the books, points to the picture, sometime tries to tear away the pages (little destructor), and often he walks to us with a book on his hand and asks us to read to him. Oh well, doesn't matter if he will cultivate his reading habit, as long as he is happy reading/playing, that's good enough for us, at least for now :-)

Hao Re's book collection at 14 months

Most recently added collection, a series of wisdom story from the Jewish

Hao Re is reading/playing with his books

Doesn't he look like he IS actually reading? Note he sat on his Little TouchPad System (he still doesn't know how to play with this yet)

If you listen carefully at the very beginning of this video, after I asked "Where is the tiger (in Mandarin)". He immediately made a roaring sound, and then laughed. He repeated this many times, everytime I asked where is the tiger, he roared. But as soon as I got the camera ready, he was only willing to do it once :-(
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The wonderfulness of fruits!

Hao Re enjoying his red dragon fruit

As what I learned from a talk and from the books/magazines that an adult should eat 5 servings of vegetable/fruits every day, and that these 5 types of vegetable/fruits should be of different colors, and the darker the color, the better it is (contains more anti-oxidant etc). Not sure how much a toddler should take though, but I thought no harm eating more? I will ask Hao Re's PD when he goes for his jab next month.

I learned from a doctor that the red dragon fruit is very good. Probably it's one of the fruits with the darkest color? But it's difficult to get the red color ones. NTUC supermarket only sells the white ones (at least true for those NTUCs I visit). Luckily I have found a shop near to my workplace selling red dragon fruit. So from a couple of weeks back, our family is enjoying the red dragon fruit 2-3 times a week.

Honestly I am not a fan of dragon fruit. But hubby is. And now we know that Hao Re loves it too! He asked for more after finished 1 big slice of it. The first time Hao Re ate some red dragon fruit, we forgot to tell his teachers about it. When they saw Hao Re's red color stool, they were shocked, wondering what's wrong. Only when I told them it's the "effect" of the red dragon fruits, they all laughed!

Now that I am pregnant, I faithfully eat 5 types of fruit every day in the office - grapefruit (one of my favourite, but not hubby's) or orange, guave (very good for vitamin C), banana, green apple (don't like red apple), and one other random fruit (pineapple, papaya, etc) of whatever I buy from the shop. See, fulfulling the "rules" - all of different colors. Hubby doesn't get to eat so much fruits at home, but I try my best to prepare fruits for him after dinner, usually orange, red dragon fruits, grapes, etc. And yes, I will help myself to the second round of fruits together with hubby. A lot right?!! And that's excluding vegetables. If we cook at home, we would eat a lot of greens, we usually buy so much that the aunties (the stall that we frequent at the market) were surprised that it's only for serving of 2 persons. But now they know us well and usually scoop a big bag of vegetables for us :-)

While for Hao Re, he gets 1 serving of fruit at school, usually apple/banana/papaya/honey dew/watermelon/etc. In the evening, I try to give him another serving of fruit, which can be red dragon fruit/grape/orange/etc.

I will try my best to give all the family members as much fruits as possible.
The Kam family (including the little one in my tummy) should thus continue to enjoying the wonderfulness of fruits, at least throughout my pregnancy!

Here's some photos of Hao Re enjoying his red dragon fruit:

Oh, yum yum...

Mummy, 1 more, please....


Mummy, here, there is a red dot here!

Satisfied look!
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Singapore Zoo revisited and Jazz music appreciation

Another nice weekend spent!

Saturday 14032009

Our last visit to the zoo was with Hao Re's little friend, Isaac Cho and teams in early September 2008, it was a memorable and enjoyable one, despite the two kiddo was only barely 7-8 months at that time. On Saturady, we decided to bring Hao Re to the zoo again as we thought it's gonna to be very different, that now he walks well, he can recognise some of the animals, he knows what to look at, etc, etc.

And it's true, Hao Re enjoyed the trip so much and he really looked at the different animals intensely and he kept pointing on them and made a lot of funny sounds, the cutest being trying to roar like a tiger :-) And this was our first visit to the newly renovated Kidzworld Kingdom (the waterplay area), which was still under renovation during our last visit. Need not to say, Hao Re was surely enjoying the waterplay!

Let's the photos speak for us.......

Just left our house. A nice dad-and-son photo!

Daddy, look, so many fishes......

At the Australian Outback. Watching the kangaroo inside the Jeep. "Look, mummy......"

Get very close to a friendly oystrich

Getting a kiss from the sealion

Look, mummy, the baby sealion is sucking mummy's milk!

A family photo with the Orang Utan

What's up there?

Ya, daddy, I know, this notice board says I can't cross this line to touch the giant tortoise, I know, I know!

Hmmm, how can I stop the water shooting out?

This is a cute one. Hao Re saw the two kids lying on the floor waiting for the big splash. So he followed them and rolled on the floor :-)

An exhausted baby :-)

We spent closed to 4.5 hours there. Hao Re only has his first milk feed and nap at 1pm. We then have our lunch and headed home, as the weather was getting very hot.

After this trip, we decided to sign up for the "Friends of the Zoo" the next time we go. We figured that Hao Re loves getting close to the animals and we stay so near to the zoo, so why not?!! We should make more (shorter) trips. The next time we are there (don't know when yet), Hao Re might have started talking and will have lots of questions to ask already???

Sunday 15032009

Hubby found out there will be free performance (part of the Mosaic Mucsic Festival 2009) at the Concourse at the Esplanade. He has been wanting to bring Hao Re to listening to music for long, but there was none suitable for Hao Re. Since this one is free and it's only lasted for 30min, we decided to bring Hao Re there and let him try out.

The musician is a young (think only 16 years old?) saxaphonist from Australian, he plays Jazz and Blues. It's really amazing that Hao Re really appreciated the music so much. For a good 15min or so, he sat on my laps quietly listening to the music and he even clapped his hands and dances a little bit occasionally. After 15min, he couldn't sit still, he moved around a little bit while enjoying the music. He didn't make any noise for the whole 30min!

We will continue to bring him to more of the similar events. We were thinking of the Disney on Ice which is on show now, but then it was a long performance and I am not sure if Hao Re can sit still, and plus the theme this year is Princesses..... eh, like too girly for my boy (well, actually it's me who don't like the theme, shouldn't blame on Hao Re :-)). Never mind, we will keep looking and I am sure there will be something suitable for Hao Re sooner or later.

It's difficult to take some nice pictures duing the performance. Here are some pictures taken before the performance:

Having lunch before going out. Guess what he's having??? A drumstick bone!!! He enjoyed so much licking, sucking and chewing on the bone

A passer-by gave him a balloon, which occupied him for a very long time, until the balloon flew to the ceiling

A Hazgen-daz ice-dream treat right before the show. They don't provide baby chair so Hao Re has to sit on adult chair. Amazingly he sat there obidently for almost 30min (for time ever!!!). Why? Because we gave him his favourite strawberries to keep him happy :-)

p/s: These are photos from mummy's handphone. Daddy might have captured better picture, but haven't downloaded yet :-( so can't publish now.

Yeap, that's our weekend! Simple and nice and happy :-)
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My birth experience on the 4th Jan 2008

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To note it down now before I forgot all the details

It was just another usual working day on the 3rd Jan 2008. I drove to work as usual with my very big tummy. Had a heavy lunch as we went for the Penang Lunch Buffet! Oh, yummy, the food was actually quite authentic and I ate a lot :-) On the way back home after work, I bought a pack of "mi tai mak" and some other stuff so I could cook it for my dinner. The evening was spent as usual, took bath, had dinner, watched tv and went to bed.

I was at my 37.5 weeks then. I visited my gynae, Dr WK Tan two weeks ago and according to her, I was not ready yet since baby had not engaged. I was actually due for the forthnightly check-up on the 4th Jan. Throughout my whole pregnancy until I was admitted to the hospital, I didn't experience any contraction at all (not even Braxton Hicks). So I trusted my gynae and thought I might go all the way to full term or for another week or 2. We didn't expect it happened earlier..... and we didn't prepare for it to happen that much earlier.

At about 2 or 3am (couldn't remember the exact time) on the 4th Jan 2008, I felt to urge to pee. When I was peeing, I felt that it's very unusual, as there was large amount of water drained out down there. But it stopped. I went back to bed and told hubby about it. Since it's in the middle of the night, both of use wanted to sleep more than anything else. So hubby asked "are you okay?" I said yes and we went back to sleep. After a few minutes, the urge to pee comes again. Okay, this time round, I knew it's not okay. I suddenly understood what had happened - my water bag broke!!! Luckily I had no show then. I woke hubby up and asked him to prepare for me to be admitted. Called to TMC and the nurse said need not hurry, stayed calm and asked us to go to the hospital after we sorted out things at home. I took out the bag and stuff some stuff inside and we went to TMC about half and hour later. The "water" continued to flew down during the car ride. But really there was nothing I could do as it's out of my control :-)

Arrived at Thomson shortly. Hubby was asked to complete all the admission/registration procedures, while I was being sent to the observation room. This was the time that I felt so lonely and so helpless. As a first time mum, I had absolutely no clue on what to do. And the nurses were all so busy, as there were quite a number of mummies admitted that night. After waited alone, sitting on the bed for about 10 minutes or so, finally a nurse came to me. I was asked to get changed, take a pill to clear my bowel, and then lied down on the bed so that they could put the heartbeat monitor to monitor baby's heartbeat. After another 15 minutes or so, I heard hubby voice talking to the nurse. I felt so happy, finally hubby was around to accompany me. The lonely 30 minutes was like few hours to me.

We were chatting casually as we didn't know what else we could to do. We overheard the mummy next to us asked for epidural. I was still very brave at that moment, still thought I won't need epidural (I still hadn't experienced any contraction then).

Later I was asked to go to the delivery room. It's much better at the delivery room, for that it's a personal room and has got a (small) tv for some entertainment. But then the nurse on duty was definitely not nice, a very impatient and rude one indeed. She asked me to lie down as she needed to put on the heartbeat monitor. And she told me firmly - DON'T MOVE! Excuse me, how could I not move for hour? Every time she came back to check on me and found out that the monitor had shifted, she scolded me. That's a bad experience with a bad nurse.

Dr WK Tan came to check on me (couldn't remember the time though, maybe about 7-8am?). She was ever so friendly and always put on her sweet smile, and seeing her definitely made me felt much better. She checked and said I was only barely 2cm dilated. She decided to induce me, and I was put on dip.

It's another 2-3 hours or so before my first contraction started. During this long waiting time, the not-so-kind nurse was actually kind enough to order a breakfast for me and I finished off everything (very good appetite :-)) And also, during this time, hubby went back home to get some of the things ready as we didn't prepare for the early arrival. We hadn't even done wash baby's clothes and cloth diaper yet!

Not long after hubby came back, my contraction started. Oh gosh, it's PAINFUL! I have very low tolerence for pain, and so to me, contraction pain is just soooooo unbearable! I didn't ask for epidural at that time as hubby is always against the unnecessary use of medicine. The nurse offered me the gas. But oh no, it's not helpful at all. And the way I breathed in the gas made the nurse worried, she said I might have breathed in too much which is not good and she said I didn't use it properly. And all those supposedly helpful breathing techniques that I learned from the pre-natal classes, all wasted, didn't use at all. Dr Tan came to check on me, and I was still only about 3-4cm dilated, not much improvement. She said it's going to be a long day for me :-( During this period of time, I got more scolding from the nurse, because I kept shifting my body due to the pain, and she had to adjust the monitor very often. She said to me many times, DON'T MOVE! But I couldn't care less, I tried my best and she had to do her job.

I finally gave in. I looked at hubby and asked, can I have epidural, please? Hubby looked at my pity look, almost crying face, he said of course, yes, whatever you want! So the nurse called Dr Tan and Dr Tan confirmed with me that I wanted the epidural. Then the nurse called the anesthetist to administer epidural. Oh, heaven!!! I felt totally relaxed and started to chat with hubby again. Within the next 1 hour or so, I have dilated to 7cm, see the wonderfulness of the epidural, helped me to be relaxed and so my body was more cooperative to prepare for the delivery. Nurse checked again and said though the dilation was good but baby head hadn't come down yet.

Another hour of thankfully painless wait passed, the nurse checked on me again. Oh I have to mention this - there was a change of working shift for the nurses, so the bad nurse had gone off duty, and this new batch of nurses were all so nice, young and pretty and helpful and sympathetic. The nurse joked with me before she did the check "do you want to hear good or bad news?" I didn't answer. After she finished with the checking, she declared, "GOOD NEWS, you are ready"!!! She called Dr Tan and Dr Tan said the same.

Dr Tan left me with the nurses to teach me how to do the push. Initially I didn't do it the right way, but after that I managed to do it right. After a few pushes, with hubby stood besides me to support me, the nurse said, "stop pushing now, baby is going to come out soon! I will call Dr Tan now". I was like, oh, so fast, I am going to see my baby soon!" But at the same time, I started to get worried, thinking how would my baby look like, is he going to be healthy, what if this and what if that......

A few minutes later, Dr Tan was ready to welcome my baby. So we started the push again. Thanks to the epidural, with the anesthetic effect of my lower body, the good thing was I coudn't feel any pain, but then I knew exactly when contractions came, so I managed to push at the right time. With another few pushes, Dr Tan said stop as baby's head was almost out already. They were busy preparing for the things for the baby arrival, and then Dr Tan said, "okay now, 1 more push"! And right, the next minute I can hear baby crying already!!! Hao Re was delivered at 1733hr on the 4th January 2008. Hubby walked over to the nurse to do a brief check on baby, looked at baby genital (to confirm it's a boy), looked at his other organs to make sure it's okay, and to check he has 5 fingers on each hands, etc etc. After they cleaned my baby, they brought it to me and the first thing came across my mind was - oh, so tiny!!! And true, Hao Re was a tiny baby, he only weighed 2.97kg at birth.

After that, hubby and baby went out of the room. Baby got chekced by his PD, Dr Keoy SC, and hubby tagged along to witness that. While I was still inside the delivery room, with Dr Tan busy doing up the stitching, etc. Honestly I didn't feel anything at all as the epidural effect was still strong and so I actually didn't know what they were doing "down there". And I was suffering from the side effect of epidural - whole body shaking because of the cool. I asked for extra blanket but the nurse said she couldn't give me any until I was out of the delivery room, but she promised to get one ready for me.

After some time, Dr Tan had completed her job, and she sent her best wishes to me and left. Soon after, hubby came back in, and the nurse helped me to move to another bed (lower body still couldn't move due to the epidural). And they brought baby back to me, and we were wheeled together to the ward. I felt very proud, very proud to be a mum!!!

The stay at Thomson was pretty good. The epidural effect went off on the same night. I was able to get off bed and went to toilet on my own the next morning. Dr Tan advised me to take a bath the next day, and I did! It was so nice to take a bath, and I felt totally refresh after that (I am a modern thinking mum, I didn't and won't follow any of those unreasonable traditional "rules" for confinement mum). Food was good, service was good, Dr Tan was nice and Dr Keoy was nice too, both of them came in everyday to check on mum and baby. Everything worked out fine and hubby and I enjoyed our stay at Thomson very much.

But honestly, unlike some other mummies, I didn't fall in love with Hao Re at first sight. I have written about my feeling last year "was it love at first sight". But my love with Hao Re is certainly growing everyday.

With this, I have finally note down my birth experience 14 months ago. Another 5.5 months, I will have another round of experience and hope this one will be as smooth as my first one. Would I ask for epidural? YES, definite yes, no doubt!

Baby Hao Re right after delivery

First time holding Hao Re when still in the delivery room

Yum, yum, you can see that how much I like the food, all plates are shining clean!

Upgraded from a family of 2 to a family of 3!

My little cutie pie on 2nd day at Thomson
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