Words cannot describe the joy we felt when our baby finally came into this world. Aiden Chase Tse was born on March 31 at 6:10 AM and he weighed 3456 grams. He arrived 5 days early.
To be honest, it came unexpectedly. During my 38-week check up, we were told firstborns are more likely to be late.
Thursday, March 30 :: I woke up and I felt a sharp pain in my lower back. I thought it was a pulled muscle as I’ve worked out a bit too hard the other day. Despite the pain, it was still manageable. So I decided to work out anyway. I texted my personal trainer to ask whether we could pay more attention to my lower back as it hurt like crazy. My PT called me right away and she suggested me to stay at home to rest instead of working out. The funny part was — she was joking that Aiden might arrive early.
As stupid as it sounds, it never crossed my mind that lower back pain was one of the first signs of labour. I stayed at home and I called Wai. I told him I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my lower back. Wai was worried so he immediately took a day off and went straight home from work. However, the pain was still bearable so I went on with my day. We decided to go to see my mom. We were about to leave when the doorbell suddenly rang. My little sister, Ling flew all the way from London to surprise us. She wanted to make sure she was there for me when it was time to go into labour. “You never know, it can happen at any time.”
The pain got worse. It came back every 8-10 minutes. 15:25..15:33..15:41.. Are these “waves” called contractions? I texted one of my mom friends and she suggested me to call the midwife (MW) for some advice. We went back home and Wai called our midwife. I was hoping she could confirm I was having real contractions. However, she said those were only “false contractions” as my water hasn’t broken yet.
Friday, March 31 :: at around 12 AM my water broke. I heard a “crack” and there was a little gush of water coming out. I woke up Wai and screamed “my water broke!” I immediately rushed to the bathroom so I could catch the water. The colour of the water was clear which means the baby didn’t poop, which was good. Wai called the MW again. She was happy to hear my water broke. “This means the labour is about to start.” Now the contractions got stronger and came back every 5-6 minutes and lasted longer.
Our MW came to our place to check my cervix for dilation. At that time I was already 4-5 cm dilated. She confirmed we can go to the hospital. I called my mom to tell her so she could go there too.
We arrived at the hospital at around 2 AM. We went straight to the labour room. Once arrived, I took a hot shower and Wai massaged my back. The contractions got stronger and unbearable. At that time, I was 7 cm dilated. 3 more to go.
“Mama, mama, please help me, I can’t handle this anymore!” I cried. My mom didn’t say much except that she was holding my hand firmly. You can tell by the look of her face she was pretty concerned. After a few painful hours, I was FINALLY fully dilated. Our MW taught me how to get in the right pushing position. Pull back your knees, take a deep breath and hold it for 10 seconds. And then it was time to push 3 times per contraction. “PUSHHHHH!!!”, the MW and nurses screamed. I had a hard time pushing the baby out and I really thought my face was going to explode. I felt so exhausted after several times of pushing. It felt like there was no end in sight. I don’t know why, but my contractions slowed down. Our MW decided to call the doctor so she could give me an IV.
Luckily, my contractions got stronger again and I was able to push without the use of an IV. “Keep pushing!!! YOU CAN DO THIS!” the MW screamed. “You’re almost there!! I can see his head!” I’m not going to lie, this was the most painful part and I’d rather get punched in the face. It literally felt like it got stuck and every time when I pushed, the head was coming out a bit, but it went back in when I stopped pushing.
At 05:45 AM, I was still pushing. “Your baby will arrive at 06:00 AM”, our MW said. I looked at the clock and I was like 15 more min?! I can’t do this anymore! Please let this stop! The MW and nurses encouraged me to keep pushing a little harder as the head was almost coming out. It motivated me and at 06:10 AM, Aiden was finally born!
They put Aiden in my arms and it felt so surreal. I can’t believe he’s ours, a part of us. From 9 months of pregnancy to the delivery — our little boy is finally here, with us.
I finally understood what my mom had been through when she gave birth to me and my sisters. I gave my mom a big hug and a kiss on her cheek. “Mom, you are such a strong, powerful woman and I finally know how it feels like. I love you to the moon and back.”
Aiden is two weeks old today and he’s doing great! I feel like our bond gets stronger by day. I have to admit, parenting is not always sunshine and rainbows, it’s hard work, breastfeeding, coping with insomnia, getting mood swings etc. But we simply can’t imagine a life without him.