From Bean to TinTin

Sorry I haven’t been writing. Two days after this picture was taken, I went into hospital.

And gave birth to TinTin!

I always knew my son was going to be famous!

The birth story

I started to lose bits of my mucus plug – a jelly like clot which seals the cervix to prevent infection of the womb during pregnancy – on Monday 21 June. This was one of the first signs of labour. By Wednesday, braving mild contractions, I was at the supermarket stocking up the fridge and picking up bags of cotton wool balls and a baby bath. Paracetamol worked to keep the pain at bay until the evening where the pain had gotten so bad that I had to sit in a hot bath through the night to relieve the agony.

The midwife came to see me at 7am on Thursday and sent me on my way to the hospital as I was already 4cm dilated. I was really pleased things were moving along so quickly. However, they soon discovered my temperature was high and climbing despite being given paracetamol to lower it. Suspecting I had an infection of some kind, I was then put on an antibiotics drip.

For hours afterwards the fever persisted and the cervix showed no further signs of effacement although my waters were broken and I was given a drug to induce labour. Inhaling Gas and Air (Entonox or Laughing Gas) provided enough pain relief for me in the beginning but as the induction drug took effect, I began experiencing more intense contractions. The anaesthetist came to give me an epidural. I found it almost impossible to bend forward and sit VERY still so that they can inject a sharp needle into my spine, when searing contraction pains rippled through my body. But if I had moved or twitched they could have injected me in the wrong place and cause paralysis.

In the end I had progressed so little by 11pm and with my fever, the doctors felt it was necessary to perform an urgent c-section to deliver the baby. The baby’s head was still not in the birth canal and he had pooed in the amniotic sac, which suggested foetal distress. It was a disappointing outcome for me as I had hoped to have a relatively drug-free natural birth as far as possible (I ended up having two epidurals [one didn’t work] and a cocktail of other drugs).

I was first catheterised as I hadn’t managed to go to the toilet for hours. As the nurses and anesthetists prepared me for theatre, I felt cold and nauseous. I was given an antacid to neutralise my stomach acid in case I threw up, because I hadn’t had anything to eat and drink now for more than 12 hours. On top of my epidural, I was also given a spinal block to numb my lower body and morphine for the pain. I had tubes inserted into veins in both my hands to pump in an endless stream of drugs. Shivering uncontrollably on the operating table because of the effects of the drugs, I begged the staff through chattering teeth to give me a blanket to warm me up, which they very kindly did.

After 11 hours of being in labour, Bean arrived on Friday 25 June, weighing 6lb 13oz (3.11kg) at 00.28, four minutes after the first incision was made. I remember it was so quiet when he was born and I wondered why he hadn’t cried. Then I heard R whisper, “Oh shit!” and I started having horrible visions that it could have been too late. I was told he was grey and floppy when he came out but he quickly pinked up after the pediatrician cleared his airways and gave him a good rub.

The operation took less than an hour from start to finish and although I was awake throughout the whole process, I was terribly dazed and lifeless. I remember turning my head around to see R in theatre scrubs and holding our son but I didn’t feel anything or get emotional like I always thought I would. I just laid there feeling so weak, tired and helpless.

When they finally wheeled me back to the room so the baby can be checked over by the midwife, I saw R and my mother caressing him while he laid under a heated lamp. That was when I burst into tears. I was just so relieved it was all over and I finally have a baby boy.

We both stayed in hospital for three nights. The doctors wanted to make sure my wound was healing well and that my temperature was back to normal while the midwives wanted to know I was competent enough to breastfeed the baby before we went home. The first day was especially difficult because I was still attached to the urine bag and a drip which meant I couldn’t feed or change him. Plus I felt so sore I had trouble getting out of bed unassisted and walking around. But then things got easier after the tubes and catheter were removed.

Back home, I still needed help with personal care such as showering and getting in and out of bed. I was also feeling quite blue because I was still harping on the fact that I didn’t manage to have a natural birth. This, coupled with learning to cope with a new baby, has led to a stressful week peppered with tears. But now as we progressed into the second week, I have recovered well enough to be as mobile and independent as I used to be and we are getting a better understanding of the baby’s habits and temperament. I am also starting to put the disappointing birth experience behind me and instead enjoy being Mum to a floppy red lump who loves milk, hates being naked and farts loudly.

It’s such hard work – I am typing this at 11pm, after spending the whole evening trying to feed and settle him without much luck till now. But at least when I turn out the light later, I can comfortably lay flat on my back, not worry about having to go to the loo a million times during the night, toss and turn around in bed with ease, no longer need four pillows to prop me up, and slip into relaxed, deep sleep… until the snuffling, whining  and crying begins.

Explore posts in the same categories: Drama, Family, Life, Relationship

4 Comments on “From Bean to TinTin”

  1. estique Says:


    btw.. what IS his real name la???? 😛 but he does look like tintin..SUPER CUTE LA! I LOVE HIS HAIR COLOR!!!!!

    anyway, newborns love to be swaddled tightly.. makes them feel secured..even though they look like IMH inmates with their hands and feet bound up! 🙂

  2. mszak Says:

    Hi Cindy

    He really look so sweet… I am sure ur mother knows this… while washing the baby, we usually will wash his head in a circular manner … as if we r ’rounding’ the head.

    Even if u r cradling him, it is good to massage his head gently in circular motion.

    While lying him down it is good to get him to sleep him on one side and then the next time he lies, turn him on the other side… to balance.

  3. fefe Says:

    You are soooo brave babe!! So so proud of you! And I so agree with Shir, he is sooooo cute….

  4. tintedglasses Says:

    Girls, I don’t think it’s being brave, it’s more like – I had no choice! How else were they going to get Tintin out of my womb? I think after going through the torture of the 11-hour labour, I was really resigned and numb and all I could think of was – Oh just do what you want to get him out!

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