Our Birth Story – Number Two!
The birth of my daughter, my second, came unexpectedly. At 36 weeks 5 days gestational age, we were mentally prepared for her arrival, but we were not logistically ready.
- My mother, ie postpartum help and lifesaver, wasn’t arriving till 4 days later
- Ian, my 2.5y son, was home for the week without school (classmate was COVID positive, Ian himself was thankfully negative)
- My hospital bag wasn’t packed
- Keep in mind we are alone overseas with no family or relatives in the east coast
So here’s how it all went down:
3.30am – On April 14, 2022, Thursday, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling a sort of cramp in my abdomen. In the third trimester, this was common, but somehow this one felt different. It occurred intermittently and was uncomfortable enough to keep me awake. For the next two hours I tried to sleep with no success, and finally at 6 am I woke Mark up and let him know something felt off. At the time it felt very much unlikely that I was in labor, I mean it wasn’t even 37 weeks yet! But then I stood up, and felt water trickle down. Oh boy.
As someone who just delivered her baby, it was hard to hear you couldn’t bring the baby home. I did shed some tears when I was alone in my recovery ward, but I knew it was the right thing to do. The nurses took great care of Faye, and I couldn’t risk her getting discharged not being 100%, and having to come back to the hospital (and if that happened, she wouldn’t come back to NICU, but to ER).
Mark came right after Ian went to bed and it was SO nice to finally see him. We both spent time with Faye at NICU before Mark had to leave for the night so he could be there when Ian wakes up. Faye ended up staying in the hospital for 6 days. For the first two days while I was still staying at the hospital I visited her every 3 hours and spoke to every nurse and doctor that saw / took care of her. I spent my time doing skin-to-skin and tried to breastfeed her where I could. The nurses that took care of me in postpartum were SO nice, they knew I spend lots of time at NICU and brought their equipment / medicine / test kits there to meet me.
When I was discharged, I went home without a baby, which felt very weird and strange, in a sad way. I came home and saw Mark and Ian together, and immediately hugged Mark and teared up. I felt better seeing both of them, my two other most important people in the world are safe. And to a large extent, Faye is safe, too. It was a smooth delivery, and she was born without any issues apart from her weight. I was grateful, thankful, and felt whole again.
Despite not being there, Mark was absolutely instrumental in this whole process. Knowing Ian was safe with him was all I needed to feel strong through the contractions (and ultimately the fleeting, birthing process). Ian had an absolute blast with him, and they both bonded so much over the three days / two nights together. Mark did absolutely everything – making all of Ian’s meals, taking him outside everyday, bathing, nighttime routine, morning routine, soccer practice, AND tidying up the home. It may sound like these are just everyday things, but I know how difficult it was having to do all of it alone. I was so so so proud of him, and honestly, can’t ask for a more perfect husband.
Ultimately Faye came home to us safe and sound, and 3 oz above her birth weight. She’s growing day by day and we can’t wait to see what she’ll become as she grows older. Ian on the other hand…. Needs more time to get used to having Faye around, but we expected that and will continue to encourage him and give him attention.
I am grateful, and thankful everyday to call myself a mother of two. I won’t ever take this for granted. Hello World to the, now, lady of the family, Faye Lam!