Here's Rachel's birth story, which is pretty short: When my waterbag broke a little after 9 am, I was 3 cm dilated. I then fully dilated in less than 4 hours. We had to wait another hour for everyone else to get ready (maybe because it was lunch time, haha). At about 2 pm, we got down to it. I pushed through one full contraction and Rachel popped out on the second contraction at 2.05 pm! I was amazed at how smooth and quick it was - all credit goes to the fantastic team of nurses in the delivery room who monitored and managed the process.

This is Richard and my tummy, waiting in the labour ward. That thing on me is to monitor the baby's heartbeat. Richard is reading one of his graphic novels.

Rachel was such a quiet baby when she came out, still very sleepy and lethargic. Actually, when she was still inside me, she was pretty relaxed travelling down the birth canal, even falling asleep on the job at times.

When she came out, she let out just a tiny gentle cry. Such a ladylike baby! Unfortunately, her little kitten cry wasn't enough to fully open up her lungs and airways, so she was sent to NICU for monitoring for "wet lung". We were assured that everything would be fine because she was all pink and rosy (not blue or dusky) but it was still a little nerve-wracking. Within the hour, Richard was called to the NICU and I was left in the labour ward, wondering and worrying! The nurses had estimated that they would monitor for two to three hours and not even an hour had gone by - I was really worried that something unexpected had cropped up. Turned out that they asked him to go there just to tell him that she was back on track and was absolutely fine! They sent her back to us once the paediatrician came by to check her and to approve her discharge from NICU.

The paediatrician did say that for babies who are slow to cry and open up their airways/lungs, there is a chance that they will also be slow to clear their liver, thus developing jaundice. He reassured us that, since Ryan didn't develop jaundice, then it could be that Rachel wouldn't. True enough, she didn't.

The day after the delivery was social-day - we received visitors from morning till night. To everyone who came and everyone who sent their well wishes and gifts - thank you so much!

We spent two nights in Gleneagles, with Richard and Ryan staying over on both nights. We had booked a single room but, as there were none available, we were given the luxury of a double room without a roommate. This meant that Richard had a proper bed to sleep in (Ryan slept with me). I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in the hospital, just like I did when I delivered Ryan - again, all credit to the wonderful staff there. This is me, well taken care of by the team at Gleneagles.

As Rachel had fully recovered from "wet lung" (the syndrome poses no long-term effects) and showed no signs of jaundice, we were discharged as per schedule on Wednesday. We went back to see the paediatrician on Friday - Rachel was already back at her birth weight of 2.98 kg, nursing (and poo-ing) well.

As for me, recovery has been so fast - I was up and running in no time! And boy, have I been up and running!

I am going through the Chinese confinement, but there have been things to do, places to go and people to meet, so I've been out of the house more days than I have stayed in. Richard's family (7 of them) arrived from Malaysia on the Friday after Rachel was born and stayed till Sunday, so we were out everyday with them and yes, baby Rachel came along. In addition to that, there've been lots of stuff happening. I feel great, energetic and happy. In fact, being outside, just walking about and getting some exercise, feels good.

This is me, last Friday.  

Rachel goes everywhere I go, so she has been a busy busy busy baby! Since her discharge from the hospital, she has been out to the playground, a yacht marina and to a five-star hotel. She has patronised a Japanese restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a seafood restaurant and a fast food restaurant (KFC of course). She has modelled for three photoshoots and accompanied her brother to a casting for an advertisement. She slept through most of it of course but still - this is one rockin' baby!

It's still early days and we are still finding our rhythm as a family of four. No doubt, things will change when Rachel is past the two-week mark and also, when the confinement lady leaves in another two weeks, so we are not trying to establish any sort of routine or schedule for now. We are using the time to relax, rest and be happy, like a honeymoon of sorts.

Rachel looks different everyday - which made the first two weeks even more precious. I am furiously snapping photos everyday to hold onto these fleeting, beautiful first moments. Here's a shot, at 10 days old.

That's all for now!


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