Last Thursday, which was the day we welcomed the twins, I actually did a live update of sorts on Dayre, and recorded their birth story there the next day. The Dayre community has really journeyed through this entire process with me, and I was really touched by how excited they were for me when I said I was going to the labour ward.
I woke up early that morning, and couldn’t seem to go back to sleep, so I decided to prepare the babies’ cot. I lay out the mattress protector, bedsheet, beansprout pillows, and diaper cloths. I used pink bedsheets, because I’ve been using blue for so long now, it felt like a nice change to be able to use pink. I reused N’s old beansprout pillows, one for each baby, and lay the diaper cloths out like that for each baby, with an extra one for their heads, and a spare one at the side for swaddling.
Cot is ready!
I took a wefie with N before he went to school as well, because I was feeling all sentimental and emotional about it probably being the last day of him being my only child. He had no clue, of course, and was his usual happy, cheeky self.
Cheeky as always
I was scheduled to be induced at the doc’s clinic at 130pm, but when he checked my cervix, he said I was already 3cm dilated, and considered to be in labour, so I didn’t need to be induced. The scan showed that both babies hadn’t gained weight, and had in fact shrank a bit, so it was a case of “better out than in” again. (Read N’s birth story here.)
The original plan was to go home after being induced, spend time with N, and wait for labour to begin.
Doc told me to go straight to the Labour Ward. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.
I had plans to take a final bumpfie, have a proper shower, and wash my hair, but noooo. None of that materialised.
After registering, I went to the Labour Ward, and was told to pee in a cup. I went to the toilet, and completely forgot to collect my pee. I’m going to blame it on my pregnancy brain, because that’s the last time I can ever use “pregnancy brain” as an excuse.
They hooked me up to the monitor for 15 minutes, then gave me an enema. I didn’t poop as much as I did with N, and was afraid I would poop on the babies while pushing them out. The nurse said it should be fine, since I pooped thrice before going to the hospital anyway. I think my body was kinda getting ready for the birth on its own, but I had brushed it off as just nerves, and didn’t think much about it.
After that, they hooked me up to be monitored for another 15 minutes, but the babies moved around so much, the nurses had a tough time locating their heartbeats. They kept tracking the same baby on two different monitors, and the nurses took turns to try finding the two different heartbeats.
Sneaked a selfie while waiting
While I went to the Labour Ward, C went to pick N up from school, then rushed home to get my hospital bag. Yes, we should have left the bag in the car, but we really thought we would get to go home to wait! The change in arrangement meant that I had to activate my mum, who took urgent leave to rush to the hospital from work, so that she could look after N while C stayed with me in the Labour Ward.
N came to see me while I was in the Labour Ward, then went to the room with my mum to take his nap. We were upgraded to a suite because our preferred room option was unavailable, but it worked out well for us, because the suite was spacious enough for N to sleep there with us. He was so happy, and said that the room was “like a hotel”.
I was wheeled to the Delivery Room after that, and Dr Yvonne Lim came to give me my epidural. She did such an excellent job the previous time, ensuring that I didn’t feel any pain, yet was able to feel the pressure of the baby’s head when it was time to push, that I asked Dr Loh twice if she was the one who would give me my epidural. This time round, I requested for anti-nausea meds, and Dr Lim said they would have it on standby for after the delivery. She gave me a really low dose of the epidural since I wasn’t feeling any contractions. It was more to allow me to be pain-free when Dr Loh burst my water bag, and true enough, it was a pain-free affair.
I had acid reflux after a while, and requested for the anti-nausea meds, but it didn’t really help.
Dr Loh came to check on me, and I was only 4cm dilated, so he burst my water bag. I asked if he burst one or two, and he said only one can be burst, “how to burst two?!” How would I know, right? Anyway, I felt the familiar warm gush of water, and he was pleased that I could feel that, without the pain.
I bummed around in the delivery room with C, who kept trying to be funny by making silly comments and complaining about his own discomfort. “This chair isn’t very comfortable. The aircon is too cold.” I kept rolling my eyes at him, and asking him who was the one in labour. I think we were really a lot more chill this time round, since we sort of knew what to expect. We also said a prayer together, so it wasn’t all jokes.
N had woken up by then, and was eating his dinner in the room, while glued to the tv. I FaceTimed him a couple of times, but he seemed more interested in the tv than me. So much for missing mummy!
Happy campers waiting in the room
I was getting sleepy, and tried to nap, but the babies kept giving the nurses trouble by refusing to stay in position, so they kept coming to adjust the monitors.
I hadn’t dilated any more from the 4cm at 535pm until the nurses checked me at 8+pm, so Dr Loh ordered some meds on a drip to speed things up. C snuck N in to say bye to me, as we figured it would be better for him to go to school the next day as usual, rather than hang around watching tv in the hospital. After that, C decided to get his dinner from the coffeeshop opposite TMC (best beef hor fun ever), which freaked me out a little because I was afraid that he would miss the births. Good thing he ate quickly, and when he got back around 915-930pm, he noted that my contractions had started becoming more frequent, and hit higher peaks.
The nurses changed shifts at 930pm, and when the night shift nurse came to check on me, I casually mentioned that I could feel the tightening of the contractions, but no pain. She looked a bit concerned, and upped my epidural a little, “just in case”. She was going to check my cervix when she heard that Dr Loh was around, and said he would do it instead.
Dr Loh breezed in at 10+pm, and said he would check for dilation. He said it should be pretty fast, but I was sceptical, since I took 29h with N. This was maybe 7h so far, and I assumed that it would take quite a few more hours.
He checked my cervix and said, “Oh baby’s head is there already! Can deliver now.”
I was like, “Whutttt?” The earlier nurse told us that it usually takes an hour per cm, so we were prepared to wait for another 6 hours. Things were happening faster than we expected, and I looked at C in disbelief.
There was a flurry of activity, with the nurses getting everything ready, and Dr Loh putting on his gown. C did the most important part: switching off the tv. Hahaha. Priorities, man, priorities.
I asked Dr Loh, “No need to practise pushing like the last time?”
Dr Loh laughed at me and said, “No need, second time round is a lot faster, plus you’re experienced already. It’s just as though you’re trying to poop after not pooping for ten years.”
Erm okay, if you say so.
I was nervous because when we saw him in the clinic earlier, he said the babies were head down but not in the best of positions, so there’s always the chance that I’ll need a csec. Thank God I didn’t! I pushed a couple of times before Dr Loh gave me an episiotomy, and Didi came out at 2249h.
He cried quite a bit, which was surprising to us as N didn’t cry much at all. Dr Loh put him on my belly immediately after he came out, then they transferred him to be cleaned up, while I got ready to push Meimei out.
Dr Loh has always said that he doesn’t like to wait for the second twin to come out, in case she “swims away”, and causes complications. After a few pushes, he used the vacuum to help get Meimei out at 2253h. It left a slight red ring on her head, but it has already disappeared.
I think the entire pushing part was over within 15-20 minutes, and the babies came out within four minutes of each other, which was pretty fast, I think. I couldn’t quite believe that after all those months of trying to keep the babies in, they were finally here.
Meimei cried even more than Didi, but she opened her eyes a lot earlier too. Didi was having a bit of trouble breathing normally, and the nurse said he had “chest retraction”, and needed more oxygen.
Didi’s birth weight: 2.15kg Meimei’s birth weight: 2.26kg
We were a little surprised by how tiny they both were, especially since we thought they would be about 2.4-2.6kg each. Guess they really lost some weight in this final week.
All my concerns about them not being ready to be born were unfounded, since I was already dilated and in labour on the day that they were scheduled to be induced. They were also not growing well anymore, so it was better for them to be out.
I wasn’t as tired as I was with N, and managed to hold both babies for a while. The nurse even helped us to take some photos in the Delivery Room, while we waited for the paperwork to be completed.
After a while, the adrenaline wore off, and I was suddenly exhausted and a little nauseated. I asked for the anti-nausea meds to be administered while Dr Loh stitched me up, and felt a little better. I developed a headache and fever, and began falling in and out of sleep as they wheeled me up to the room.
The PD came to our room after checking the babies, and said she sent Didi to NICU for observation, as he was breathing too quickly, and seemed stressed. His body temp was also low, but once they warmed him up in NICU, he started calming down. She said they were both alert and looking around with big eyes, but she wanted Didi to stay in NICU for 6h, since he will be more closely monitored there.
Both babies needed to be given formula milk as they’re very small, so they had about 20ml of special formula for premature/low birth weight babies. We were totally cool about it this time round, and I didn’t try nursing them at all because she said they needed more than just breast milk at this point. I did request for them to be cup-fed instead of bottle-fed, but that was about it. I just wanted to sleep by then!
At 5am, they brought Meimei to try breastfeeding, and she did really well. I nursed her for about 10 minutes on each side, then C brought her back to the nursery, so that I could get more rest.
Didi came out of NICU at around 6+am, but had to be observed for another 2-3h before they brought him to us. They gave him some formula milk in the NICU, so I didn’t manage to latch him till later in the day. He was more difficult to latch than Meimei, because he gets really anxious, and needs to be calmed down before he latches on. I finally got to see him with his eyes open too, because he had his eyes closed after he was born, and refused to open them for the longest time.
Didi with his eyes open
Meimei with her eyes open
Thank God for a safe and smooth delivery. He was indeed watching over us every step of the way, and through our toughest moments, I kept singing this song to the babies:
Trust in the Lord, with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will carry you through. Don’t worry about tomorrow, He’s got it under control. Trust in the Lord, with all your heart, And He will carry you through.
Our journey to become parents hasn’t been easy. We went through four rounds of IUI before N was conceived during our first IVF cycle. We had a failed second IVF cycle, and weren’t sure if we would ever have more than one child. We took a break before going for our third IVF cycle, and it was then that the twins were conceived. We had three major scares during the first trimester, then when we thought things were more settled, we learnt that Meimei didn’t seem to be growing much in my womb.
It’s been a long roller-coaster ride, but we survived it by God’s grace, and all three of our children are testaments of God’s goodness. We are truly, truly blessed.
The twins on the morning after they were born
Our three miracle babies