16th April marks the end of the second week since my little Tayt’s birth.
About two weeks ago, I was still lying in the labour ward, waiting in pain for the moment to come. It was there and then that the nurses detected a plunge in the baby’s heartbeat, which led to the gynecologist deciding on a crash caesarean to be operated on me, this being supposedly more urgent than an emergency caesarean is. I didn’t know what was happening then. I only remembered that everything was happening concurrently and that there were many nurses and midwives doing all sorts of things at my bedside: plugging oxygen tubes into my nostrils, inserting a urine catheter into my bladder to empty it, coaxing me to hold a pen and sign a consent form, trying to get hold of the gynecologist on the phone… etc. It was a mishmash of events that occurred within a span of five to ten minutes. It scared the wits out of me. I was finally pushed into the operating theater, with tears streaming down my cheeks, not knowing what’s going to happen next. Inside the operating theater, the nurses transferred me onto the operating table; the anesthetist told me that everything was going to be alright and that he was going to give me general anesthesia; somebody pressed a mask onto my face… and then I zonked out completely.
I woke up drowsy and light-headed. I knew the operation was over, but… what about the baby? Where was he? Where was my husband? I tried to speak but the mask was still covering my nose and mouth and I was still shivering like mad from the side effects of the epidural. The best I could do was blurt out what was lesser than a mumble: ‘ber…bi’. The nurses either couldn’t hear me at all, or chose to ignore me. Luckily, they decided to push me back to the ward to rest because on the way back, I saw my husband who gave me an answer that I needed. He heard me. I heard his answer, closed my eyes and concussed.
That was the drama that occurred during my son’s delivery on the 2nd April 2015. After we’ve recovered from the shock and worries, both of us decided that it was a blessing in disguise to have the crash caesarean after all. To start with, it certainly helped to ease and cut short the whole labour process, instead of having to bite my lips through the predicted ten to twelve hours of labour pain (I was already almost dying from the intense contractions during the induction of labour). In addition, I was secretly glad that I did not have to bear with the pain of having stitches down under, which meant that I could poo and pee with more ease after the delivery.
What we didn’t like though was that the final hospitalisation bill was way higher than what we were previously expecting. In fact, it had burst our delivery budget in every possible ways: (1) because it was a very urgent caesarean operation to be conducted and our dear gynecologist couldn’t make it there on time, the hospital had to get another gynecologist to carry out the operation. That doubled the delivery charges imposed on us as we had to pay for the fees of BOTH gynecologists; (2) The baby had to be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for observation before he was deemed safe enough to be sent to the nursery. That two hours of intensive care cost us another bomb; (3) Because it was a caesarean, I had to be hospitalised for one more night, which, coincidentally, fell on a public holiday (Good Friday). The operation itself was carried out on the eve of a public holiday, which was a good enough reason for the gynecologist and room charges to be increased as well; (4) The baby was delivered using forceps, which we had to pay for as an extra delivery equipment, and (5) a crash caesarean is the MOST EXPENSIVE of all forms of delivery. Our final bill – a five digit sum that almost choked us breathless when we were paying for the fees.
So much for the monetary nightmare and unexpected events. I am glad those days are over and that I am now able to take time out to settle in and chill out in my new role. Nevertheless, a deep regret would remain with me throughout my entire life – one which I will probably recall during the dawn of my days – that is the inability to hold onto and develop a bondage with my child the second he was born. The guy, too, was unable to witness the whole process of delivery of his own son as he had had to wait outside the theater, given that it was an unplanned caesarean. He was also unable to cut the umbilical cord of Tayt – a symbolic act for the Little One to begin his new life. This lack of an opportunity to bond with little Tayt right from the start has led to us appreciating his presence even more, treasuring the simple fact that he is alive. This Little One survived an ordeal right at the start; we are sure he will continue to overcome other challenges in the future.
And so I am blessed to have become a mum, and he a dad. It is this near brush with death that made us realise how much we actually love him. He is a gift to us which we will never take for granted. May he grow up healthy and happy, just like his name prophesies.