(For Part 1, please go here.)
I received my epidural around 3 or 3:30. (Have I ever told you how much I love epidurals? No? Well – I love them. There, I said it.) I was able to rest a little bit after that but, as with my other two births, the epidural made my body SO relaxed, the contractions started backing off. My doctor administered what she called a “whiff” of oxytocin, just to keep things moving in the right direction. After a while, though, I started feeling things again. The nurses described it as feeling the pressure, but not the pain. Looking back, I suppose that’s true…but it was about as painful as the contractions that had sent me to the hospital in the first place. And the contractions were simply not big enough. When it was time for Ying Ying’s debut, I’ve been told that it all happened within the space of one (rather long) contraction. I asked the doctor later why it was so difficult for Ying Ying to make her exit. Her two siblings had entered the world much more…gracefully. She told me that I had done an AMAZING job, a STELLAR job, it was just that my contractions weren’t big enough to really help me.
I think she was just saying that to make me happy. I distinctly remember needing to push only a few times to get Ying Ying. That said, after two pushes, I simply announced tearfully that I “couldn’t do it.” “Oh no, you can! You can!” came the chorus of voices from the suddenly worried nurses and doctors. (Obviously, they knew that Ying Ying was almost there, but I couldn’t see that.) And then…she was there. It was 8:30 am. I had been in the hospital for just over 5 hours.
Meet Ying Ying. Procedure was slightly different with her than with my other births. As soon as she entered the room, she was placed on my chest. And I was told to leave her there as long as I wanted. Daddy snipped the umbilical cord, and then baby and I were covered up with a blanket. She lay on my chest for about an hour, never crying, simply moving her head side to side. As I talked to her quietly, she would tilt her head up towards my voices, blinking her dark, swollen eyes in the dim light.
After an hour, I handed her to the nurses to be weighed and measured. (THEN she cried. It was a relief – I wasn’t sure if she could!)
As the day went on, her extended family showed up to greet her. (She was an angel for Poppy, my father.) I didn’t get a shot of her with Grandma, but rest assured – this little girl was welcomed to the world with quite a bit of love! My little brother and sister were able to come and meet her, along with my older sister and her little family.
She was equally sweet when MaMa came with the other kids that night. Ming Wai made sure to bring a little musical rabbit to sing for her new baby sister.
Siu Jeun…didn’t care too much about the baby. Instead, he dug into the treats Daddy had rounded up. (It was just as well – dude had a little cold, so I didn’t want him kissing his new sister anyhow.) Another change this time around (Ming Wai was born at the same hospital, 6 years ago) is that my “support person” could now order breakfast, lunch and dinner along with mine, as well as round up treats for any visiting siblings. I suppose people did it all along, but now it is above-board and encouraged.
Daddy…oh daddy. I can’t say enough good about this man. He, obviously, was a little excited about his new baby girl as well.
Lo Gung and I are so blessed. Three beautiful, healthy children. In-laws in town for a month to help out with cooking, chauffeuring and keeping the older siblings entertained. Surrounded by my own siblings, parents, aunts and uncles. Blessed indeed.
We are, of course, still settling in. Some nights Ying Ying will sleep five hours before she wakes up to eat. Some nights she wakes up every 45 minutes. (That was a rough night, my friends. A very rough night.) Mostly, though, we just love having her here. She is, in general, in one of three states: eating, sleeping or quietly staring at the world through slightly crossed eyes, under a furrowed brow, trying to make sense of everything.
Put simply, she is a delight.