Mr. FAF and I are very happy to announce the birth of our daughter – Baby F2.
She was born one week early. Both mommy and baby are doing well.
Now that the frenzy of having a new baby is finally slowing down, I want to take this time to tell you the story of how it all happened.
The fateful Thursday
It was Thursday, 10 days before my due date. I went to work as usual.
Earlier, I had talked to my boss about the possibility of him letting me work from home during the last two weeks of my pregnancy.
My colleagues had been suggesting that option to me since it was pretty common in my office.
My boss, however, was new and didn’t seem comfortable with the idea, which I totally understood.
I had come down with a cold that whole week but didn’t take time off since I wanted to save my sick leave and vacation for after the birth.
On that Thursday, I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvic area.
I had some free food in the office for lunch and wasn’t sure if it was the food that just didn’t sit well in my stomach.
I’m not sure what happened, but my boss stopped me on my way home that afternoon and said that he’d be ok with me working from home during my last week, which I agreed to.
Walking became more difficult. I remember thinking to myself that I wouldn’t be surprised if our baby decided to come out that weekend. But I didn’t tell Mr. FAF since I didn’t want to freak him out.
He had been praying that our daughter would come after his one-year anniversary (4 days before the due date) so that he could get his 6-week paternal leave.
Doubting the pain
I went to bed at 10:30 PM that night, totally preparing myself to go to work the next day. I started to feel some pain in my lower abdomen but managed to sleep through it until 3 AM.
At 3 PM, the pain intensified, and I had to rush to the bathroom, thinking it must have been something that I had eaten. The pain started slow but came every 15 and then 10 minutes. I thought I had food poisoning.
When I went into labor with Baby F1, it started with my water breaking. And I didn’t even have any contractions until I got the Pitocin at the hospital. And once the contractions started, I got the epidural right away, so I could barely register what contractions felt like.
Part of me suspected I was in labor with Baby F2. But part of me also hoped it was just a bad case of diarrhea. After all, it was just 5 days away from Mr. FAF’s one-year work anniversary.
That weekend, there was also a huge annual Asian summer picnic that I wanted to go to. Plus, it was early in the morning (4 AM), so I didn’t want to wake Mr. FAF up since he might still have to go to work the next day.
When it was 4:20 AM, however, the pain started to come every 5 minutes. I started to sweat and squirm in bed with every pang of pain I was hit.
When it began to feel unbearable, I decided to call the clinic and was put in touch with the doctor on call who told me to go to the hospital right away.
I rushed to Mr. FAF’s room (we don’t sleep together) to wake him up: “Hubby, wake up. We need to go to the hospital. I’m in labor.” We gathered my hospital bag, dressed our son, and got in the car.
At the hospital
On our way to the hospital, I was constantly hit with contractions that felt like someone was wrangling all the organs inside me. Mr. FAF asked me if it felt like diarrhea, and I said it was 10 times worse than that.
I was examined by the nurse who said I was 7 cm open.
In my last desperate attempt to hope for a later delivery, I asked the nurse if I was in labor. She looked at me and said,”Yes, you are.”
I was admitted to the triage at 6 AM. Mr. FAF and I looked at each other and said good-bye to his 6-week paternal leave. I secretly wished I could still go to the Asian summer picnic, which was a blast last year.
In between contractions, I texted my boss to tell him that I was in labor, and that I wouldn’t be able to go to work that day. I thought about the tasks that I had tried to finish at work.
But I finally let all of those thoughts go. My baby was the most important thing now, and I had to concentrate my energy on delivering her.
I thought that I would have to push until the afternoon and even told Mr. FAF to work from the hospital to save one day off.
We took our son to the hospital, but Mr. FAF later took him to daycare and then came back to the hospital.
5 minutes later, however, the nurse told me I was ready to push, and that I could deliver our baby girl that morning. Both Mr. FAF and I were in shock.
I was in labor with Baby F1 for 16 hours and had to push for at least 4 hours. He was 8 lbs 4 oz and had a hard time coming out of my belly. The doctor had to use a vacuum and forceps to get him out. The doctor later told me she was preparing the tools to perform a C-section on me.
I got the epidural at 7:30 AM and breathed a sigh of relief when I stopped feeling pain from the contractions.
I applaud and respect all the moms who choose to go natural with their delivery 100%, but like Mr. Frugalwoods, I had nothing to show for my labor. I’m human. I don’t want to be in pain.
If there’s a less painful option for me to welcome my baby which is covered by health insurance, I’d happily take it, which I totally did.
Our daughter was born at around 10 AM, which totally amazed Mr. FAF and me. We were now a family of four.
Unlike Baby F1’s birth where I passed out immediately after the delivery (literally), this time, I was able to see Baby F2 after she came out of my belly.
The doctor placed her on my chest. I looked at our baby with happiness, gratitude, and surprise. I was now a mother of two. I felt like our family was more complete than ever.
The hospital stay
The nurse later wheeled me to the family care room where I stayed for the next two days. During my stay, the nurses came to check either Baby F2 and me or both every hour.
It was hard for me to sleep with the constant visits from the staff. But I knew it was necessary. They were attentive and helped me with everything from getting up to going to the bathroom.
I got a private room with a TV and a private bath. I had fun ordering things off the menu during my stay. I felt like I was staying in a hotel.
The private bath in my room at the hospital
Mr. FAF stayed at home with our son and came to visit us later in the afternoon (it was during the weekend). Mr. FAF also cleaned up the house, did laundry, and bought a bunch of groceries to prepare for mommy and baby’s arrival at home.
With no help from family, we were in charge of a toddler and a newborn and had to divide the labor accordingly. I watched our daughter at the hospital, and Mr. FAF took care of our son at home.
I was generally happy with the hospital except for one thing. One of the main nurses who took care of us was in training and seemed really inexperienced.
She didn’t know the very basic things such as how to use an ice pad, how to swaddle a baby properly, and what labolin was (cream for sore breasts).
When she gave our baby her first bath, I was very nervous that she’d drop our baby. Luckily, the main nurse took over the second half of the bath, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Other than that, everything went well at the hospital. A couple of days later, Mr. FAF’s boss emailed him with great news for us.
He had talked to the big boss and HR who let Mr. FAF take four paid weeks off to take care of our baby. It was much better than the three weeks we had hoped for and happily took the offer.
Mr. FAF and I are still adjusting to being new parents of a newborn and a toddler without any help from our parents.
Our friends and neighbors offered to watch Baby F2 so that we could take a break. My neighbors also wanted to start a meal chain for us.
We appreciated their kind gestures. But knowing that everyone has young kids and full-time jobs, we don’t want to bother them and haven’t taken anyone up for their offers just yet.
I will write another post about how Mr. FAF and I manage to take care of a newborn and a toddler without spending a fortune on babysitting, take-outs, or cleaning service.
Stay tuned for further updates!