Pre-term labour

So this happened last night after I got home.

Went to toilet and saw the usual discharge.

But what was unusual about it was that there was a very tiny spot of blood in the middle of the discharge.

So tiny, it should be less than 1mm in diameter.

I wiped it up with the toilet paper and realised it wasn't pink or brown; it was blood red.

But I had a toddler standing at the toilet door watching me use the toilet and take a shower, there was no time to react except to do business as usual.

I texted the hubs to let him know and had my dinner.

Brought Clarissa to our room where I lay in bed to play with her.

Also called the hotline to check what I should do, if it was any cause for concern, and they said they'd contact my gynae and get him to call me.

In between the wait, I checked Dr Google (nothing conclusive), and went to the toilet a few times.

All clear, no trace of blood.

I felt some cramps while playing with Clarissa but it felt like it was xbb wriggling along my tummy, which was uncomfortable but nothing I wasn't used to.

The hubs got home at 9ish, and had his dinner while I got Clarissa ready for bed.

Got a missed call from my gynae but called back very quickly.

I explained the situation to him, stressing that it was a really small trace and I only got it once.

His tone was really stern and very unlike his usual chirpy self.

He asked if I had cramps and I said yes, but very mild and not unlike my usual cramps.

He was harsh.

He said his advice is to go to the Labour ward immediately to get myself checked. No one can tell based on listening to symptoms or relying on past history, if this is a false alarm or something serious.

He also said we have to bear the consequences if we decide not to act on it.

With that he left it to me to decide what I wanted to do.

I understood what he was trying to do, but I wished he could tell me to get my arse to the hospital right now instead of telling me to decide and bear the consequences.

I was very disturbed but continued to lie in the dark with Clarissa until she fell asleep.

On one hand I'm really tired and really just want to rest in bed.
I delivered Clarissa at 40 weeks and 3 days. People say the 2nd child usually arrives earlier, so I was expecting it to be 38-39 weeks when I start my maternity leave.

On the other hand, I don't think we should take the chance. It's our child we are talking about.

So the hubs and I talked, and upon hearing that the discharge was bright red he made up his mind and said, let's go to the hospital and get a peace of mind.

So we left for the hospital at around 10pm and went straight to the delivery ward.

The nurse made arrangement for delivery but we insisted oh no no no we are just here for a check up due to spotting.

Anyway I got changed and wired up.

The senior staff nurse who attended to me, Geetha, was very kind and assuring.

"Relax ok? You will be alright," She kept telling me with her hand on my arm.

Every few minutes she would come in and check if I was in any pain.

I'd tell her yes I have a slight discomfort because the baby is moving.

After a few rounds she said to me, "You are actually having contractions but i wanted to confirm."

The hubs and I were like 😰😰😰 wtf?

And then she did the dreaded cervix check and said I was 1cm dilated.

But she kept reassuring us that the baby would be alright.

She then passed the telephone to me to speak to my gynae who sounded like his usual self again. Chirpy but confident.

"Wah lucky you came hor? Must scold a bit then you will come," He said.

And then his tone became very professional as he explained to me what was happening.

You are having contractions 4-5 minutes apart and you are 1cm dilated. You are going through pre-term labour.

In a calm manner he explained the course of action to me.

He'd put me on oral medication to stop the contractions to stop the labour process. If the oral medication does not work, I'd be put on the drip.

At the same time he'd give me 2 steriod jabs 12 hours apart. This is to strengthen the baby's lungs because at 34 weeks her lungs are not fully developed and in the event of pre-term labour she'd have difficulty breathing on her own.

That broke my heart a little.

But I listened on calmly.

I'd be put on observation for the night and the earliest I can get discharged would be the following day, if everything else is ok.

With that he wished me luck and said he'd see me in the morning.

I thanked him and passed the phone back to the nurse. She continued to be very reassuring.

"Better for Dr Tham to explain to you," she smiled. "Don't worry ok?"

She asked the hubs to proceed with admission registration, and left us to have a word with each other.

I tried my calmest best to explain to the hubs what the doctor just said to me, but broke down before I could tell him about the lungs that are not fully developed.

I felt bad for many things.
For my weak body for not being able to hold the baby.
For complaining about the weight.
For even entertaining the thought of not coming to the hospital to get checked, however transient it might be.
For the yet to be fully developed lungs.

And to add insult to the injury, I can't tell the difference between baby shifting and a contraction.

What if we decided not to come to the hospital?

I know that none of these are technically my fault or anyone's fault but what a shocking, sobering and scary experience to go through.

Sobbed for a minute (and tearing as I'm recounting this now) before we got on with business.

The only way is up.
And hope.

There began a long, long night.

I asked the hubs to go home after he was done with the admission.
The little boss has been waking up very early in the mornings looking for Mummy.
Better to have Daddy around.
Anyway it was going to be a waiting game and there was no place in the observation ward for him to rest.

I was given the meds and jab while I continued to be strapped.

I was still experiencing contractions but they were further apart.

I barely slept because there was too much going on in the observation ward, where privacy was but a thin veil of curtains.

I heard the same question asked and three different answers over the few hours.

"What's your weight?"
"68," said one.
"73," said the next.
"71," said the third.

The contractions eventually subsided after 3am and I dozed off uncomfortably, waking up at 4ish am, my usual.

The lady in the bed beside mine had a sudden emergency situation and the ward was in a frenzy.

A doctor rushed into the room and declared, "We need to do a crash c-sec now!"

I actually for a fleeting second thought he was going to do a c-sec right beside me.

All the nurses started running around, some wheeling the lady into the operation theatre and some trying to find some equipment.

The PA system announced, "Code Green, Code Green! Delivery room 2!"

It made me feel sad and anxious for the lady, her baby and her husband, who walked outside aimlessly with a bag and a suitcase.

The always comforting hot milo offered by the kind senior nurse at 6am in the morning.

I had hot milo too before delivering Clarissa, also after some complications as I was allergic to the pill they gave to induce her.

I checked the CCTV every 10 minutes and saw this.

She must have woken up again and made Daddy sleep beside her.

I felt relieved that he was at home with her.

Dr Tham breezed in at 7 plus, asking me how I was feeling and explaining my condition to me, in his usual calm, casual, assuring tone.

He did another cervix check and told me that my cervix is already open. 1cm. Contractions have slowed down so the oral meds seem to be working.

I have to continue with the meds throughout today and take the 2nd steroid jab.

He was about to do a quick scan to check when the baby's head was when one of the nurses ran in and said to him, "Dr Tham, RUN!"

He turned to me and said, ever so gracefully, "I'll come back later ok?"

And left the room with the nurse, not running but asking as he brisk walked with her, "What happened?"

Very sharp contrast to the doctor earlier.

(And I was glad that doctor came back to the ward after he delivered the baby to check with the nurse what happened prior to the C-sec. The baby is safe. 😊
He said, "Luckily still got heart beat" which made my heard wrench a bit but I'm so glad he saved him/her.)

Video call with the little boss before the hubs took her to school.

"Mummy, why you wear this?"
"When are you coming home?"

Aww. She told the hubs she wants to see me after school.

The hubs came back to the hospital with the charger and books.

Managed to catch Dr Tham after he came back to do the quick scan.
The baby's head is down so in case of emergency labour we can still go for natural delivery.

He was very positive about it and told the hubs it was good we came in early.

Now we wait

It's a waiting game all over again and I'm hoping for the best.

We informed our parents, and I got messages and calls from my sister and Sim asking me how I was.

I also informed my boss.

Dr Tham said I can forget about returning to work even if I get discharged tomorrow because he'd put me on hospitalization leave until I deliver.

Feeling bad for my boss because just yesterday we were talking about what I was going to complete for the next 4 weeks before I go on leave.

He chose the hard way for himself to ensure I go back to the same role. So there would be no backfill for me in the 6 months I'm planning to be out.

I'd figure out how to hand over when I'm back home.

For now, baby first.

I'd thought about whether I want to share this experience on Dayre, after all it is very personal and very scary and we are still praying for the best outcome since I'm not out of the woods yet.

But Dayre has always been about my journey as a mother and an individual learning to be a mum, wife, sister, daughter.. and me.

I don't have many readers but I hope whoever or #dayremummies who chances upon this finds it helpful.

That no small trace or evidence is too small when it comes to a baby.

It's always better to be safe than sorry.

My little comic relief dropped by with the hubs and my mom earlier in the evening.

She had dinner with me, made her Daddy take her to the nursery a few times to look at babies and ask a tonne of questions about them, and played with anything she can find in the room.

When it was time for them to leave, I asked her to listen to Daddy, shower and get changed, and go to bed.

"I want Daddy and Mummy to read story books!" She said.

"Mummy can't read to you tonight. Can you ask Daddy to read one ok?"

"Ok Daddy read! Two!" She insisted.

She gave me a kiss and said to me, "Mummy you must listen to the doctor ok?" 😘😗

Just the boost I need.