Full name: Kiana Elise Fauni Ramirez Birthdate: July 7, 2013, Sunday, 12:13pm
The previous Friday, July 5, was Kei's last day in the office, before her maternity leave starts. The next day, Saturday, July 6, Kei's mom arrived here in Singapore.
Our expected date of delivery was July 25.
But early morning on Sunday, around 3am, Kei woke me up. She got out of bed 20 minutes ago and had already fallen back asleep, but she suddenly awoke because she felt something wet. That was it. Her waterbag broke. It was a good thing that she had already prepared a baby bag with all the stuff we needed to bring to the hospital, in case we had to rush. Exactly like our situation then. At around 4am, we were already settled in at the hospital's labour ward. I was with Kei at the delivery room. Her mom was out in the waiting area, because only husbands were allowed inside.
She was put under observation, since she wasn't feeling anything else out of the ordinary yet. The nurse checked on her and said she was just 1cm dilated. The nurse on duty then was Filipina.
Around this time, Kei's mom went home for a while. We needed a few more things from home, and she wanted to cook and bring our lunch.
After a few hours, it was probably past 7am, a nurse checked on Kei again. She was only 2cm dilated. Progress was a little slow. A bit later, our OB, Dr. Gordon Tan, said that he's going to give Kei something to speed up her dilation. Along with that, Kei decided she wanted her epidural anesthesia, too. That was around 9am.
By 10am, the nurse came to check Kei again. She's now 4 to 5cm dilated. Kei says she already feels the contractions more frequently. Before 11am, she was already 7cm dilated. By 11:30am, she was almost 10cm dilated. The nurse called for Dr. Gordon. Kei's mom also just returned to the hospital.
It was around 12nn when Dr. Gordon entered the delivery room. Everything was all set, and there were two nurses ready to assist. I was directed to stand by the bed, beside Kei. A short while later, Dr. Gordon started instructing Kei to push. Later, after everything was done, Kei said it seemed like she only pushed three times. The delivery was vacuum-assisted, so when Elise came out, there seemed to be a line drawn around the crown of her head.
The delivery was over very quickly. Elise's official time of birth is 12:13am. Immediately after Elise came out, she was placed on top of Kei then Dr. Gordon handed be a pair of scissors, asking me if I wanted to cut the cord. I had no time to think, I just cut it.
Elise was weighed right away, she was 3.03kg. She was hardly cleaned, even for weighing, when she was placed back on top of Kei. Kei was asked to try to breastfeed right away, while the nurses were cleaning and tidying up the delivery room.
After the delivery room was cleaned, Elise was taken and brought to the nursery, for cleaning. Kei's mom and I went with the nurse all the way to the nursery. Kei was waiting to be brought to her room.
The first day, Elise was very sleepy. We only stayed two nights at the hospital, and we were back home Tuesday, after lunch. Elise was waking up, getting hungry and needing diaper changes more often.
We were told before we were discharged to watch out for Elise turning yellow, and that neo-natal jaundice was quite normal. What was needed to be seen was how long it takes before it went away. Friday morning, Elise had a check-up with the pediatrician. When she was seen to still be very yellowish, we were sent to the lab for a blood test. The result was that her bilirubin level was very high (normal range: 0-101, Elise's level: 300+). According to the pediatrician, Elise needed to be admitted for phototherapy.
So now, she's still there at the hospital nursery. She was admitted Friday, 3:30pm. At 9pm that day, we visited her to feed her, even if it was by bottle. Fortunately, we lived so close to the hospital. We were told to hold off on breastfeeding while Elise's treatment wasn't finished yet. We went back twice today, Saturday, to feed her at 11:30am and 8:20pm. Another blood test was done at around 9am, and her bilirubin level went down to 285. There was almost no trace of yellowishness on her tonight! Elise will be discharged tomorrow, Sunday, yay!
So, yeah, I'm now 32 years old, at exactly this time, 3:30pm.
I'm one year older, not that much wiser. I try not to worry too much. I used to overthink a lot of things, but over the past couple of years, I've learned to sometimes just let things go. It was hard, learning that. The result, feeling lighter and happier, is definitely worth it.
But, man, do I feel older.
I feel I'm quite happy at work. There were a few bumps on the road we had to deal with, sadly. I also feel I could've done more, been more productive. I also miss doing development work, coding. But, overall, I'm really not that disappointed. I'm a bit bummed about not getting a raise this year, though. :-p
So this year saw us move into a new home. Kei and I are enjoying living by ourselves. We've buffed up the place over the past 4 months we've been here -- new sofa, picture frames, and other fixtures and furnishings. The chores, however, do have a tendency to feel like, errrr.. chores. I only really sweep when there's already an undeniable feeling of filth (read: visible) when I walk barefoot. That's around every 2 weeks. Heh.
Now that we have our own place, we're already expecting visits from family. Kei's family is coming this July. Mama and Tita Alice are coming on September. I'm really excited to have guests -- to help out with the chores. XD
Kei and our baby
Kei told me last night: this will be my last birthday that I don't have a baby. Our baby is due next month! We're both very, very excited and, at the same time, very, very anxious. Kei's pregnancy is going well, for the most part, so I'm confident that she'll breeze through labor and delivery.
I can't wait for Baby Elise to start walking and talking! I want to teach her so many things. Things that do not involve Disney princesses and fairies and dolls and purple dinosaurs and touch screen devices. Things like building blocks and puzzles and old-school physical games and letters and numbers and math! Math and stories and imagination! We'll watch Super Book and Flying House and Powerpuff Girls and Phineas and Ferb and Bill Nye, the Science Guy! What fun!
June 12 is celebrated in the Philippines as our Independence Day. This year here in Singapore, a bunch of organizations came together to give us Filipinos staying here a whole-day event to commemorate the holiday.
My friends would know that I'm very fond of quiz contests. This one, I felt, I couldn't miss -- especially after seeing that the prizes were well worth competing for. So I signed up to join it.
When the day arrived, I made sure to get to the venue early. I didn't want to miss the qualifying round just because I got lost. To my relief, the place was quite easy to find.
The qualifying round would cut down the number of contestants to fifteen. This first round was a written exam, scheduled for one hour. At 10am, the scheduled time of the qualifying round, there were just a handful of us. A fellow contestant joked that they shouldn't disqualify late-comers, which would ensure that the five or six of us present at the moment would surely go to the next round, since we were way below the cut-off of fifteen.
I finished the exam in fifteen minutes. All the questions were mutliple-choice, so when I didn't know the answer (which was more than half the time), I just quickly put in my guesses. The questions in the exam were mostly really obscure Philippine trivia, and I wasn't so sure of my chances of qualifying, if it all came down to everyone guessing through the exam (throughout my quiz contest career, I've always been horrible at guessing).
The organizers said they'd give me a call or send me an SMS around an hour before the next round (at 1pm), if I qualified. I went out for lunch, walking and sulking, waiting for that call.
I was biding my time going up and down the escalators of Plaza Singapura when I received the call. What a relief!
The next round of the competition would be held on-stage. I've always thought I've already overcome my stage fright, but this time I felt a little bit nervous. It's been so long since I've been on any kind of stage. Most of my anxiety was from my fear of embarrassing myself if I couldn't answer correctly. That'll really hurt my pride. :-p
For the second round, we were given four huge flash cards for letters A through D. The game master will read the questions out loud, and then he'll read four choices of answers. We'll then be given three seconds to flash the card containing the letter of our desired answer. The top three scorers at the end of the round will proceed to the third and final round. I answered nine out of ten questions correctly.
When the results were announced, I was indeed qualified for the final round. There was a tie for third place, so we had to wait for their clincher round.
For the final round, we were given whiteboards, markers and erasers. We will be asked ten questions and we had to write down the exact answers -- no more choices. The questions were very difficult. At the end of the final round, all three of us finalists each got only one correct answer.
To break the three-way tie, we went to a sudden-death clincher round. After almost ten questions, this one guy failed to answer what the other guy and myself answered correctly. He was declared the third-place winner. We continued to battle for first place.
After what seemed like more than ten questions, our tie was never broken. The allotted time of one hour for the competition has elapsed, and we were told that we had to leave the stage to give way to the next event. The sponsors were very mindful of the time that they bought. Because of that, we had to continue the clincher round in the backstage.
Backstage, we were seated in an air-conditioned room and there was only a small group of spectators, so it was less stressful than when we were on stage. But my nervousness never left me.
I think it took us twenty questions of giving the same answer, whether right or wrong, until a spectator remarked that we finally answered differently. To add to the suspense, the game master took a couple of seconds before checking if one of us gave the correct answer. He peeked at his question sheet and announced what all of us had been waiting for: we have a winner.