Monday, May 30, 2005

Aidan's Birth Story

The Birth of Aidan Kailash P.

On Saturday, May 21, 2005, I had started feeling strong menstrual-type cramps starting just before lunch. Mother, Golf and I walked to the Bon Marche market for lunch and they became more noticeable. That afternoon, however, the cramping subsided, so I just assumed these were just increasingly painful Braxton Hicks contractions, which I had been getting since my sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. I had no other symptoms of pre-labor.

At around 6 PM, Mom and I decided to walk around the condo buildings for some exercise and my contractions were coming just over five minutes apart. I still thought they were just the Braxton Hicks again, because I had no bloody show or any other symptoms of pre-labor at that time. We went to dinner about 6:30 and my contractions were definitely at five minutes apart. I couldn’t eat through my contractions and my mom could tell it was the real thing coming on, although I was still doubtful.

We came back to the apartment and I shower and shave my legs, just in case. Golf had a job that had come in, so he was frantically working at the computer trying to get as much of it done as he could while Mom and I watched a Monk DVD to pass time. And the contractions kept on coming five minutes apart to the second. He kept looking up at us with such nervousness as each contraction came.

We decided that we needed to get to the hospital at about 9:30. By 9:45 we had finished packing up everything we needed, and my contractions were steadily gaining strength. We got to Bumrungrad Hospital by 10 PM, taking a taxi. In the emergency room they checked me and I was only 1 cm dilated! I couldn’t believe it; Mom was convinced I’d be at 5 already. But I was in too much pain to consider leaving the hospital, and I was checked into the Labor and Delivery ward.

Midnight came the contractions kept coming and I tried different positions to manage the pain, my favorite being on all fours on the bed because my legs tensed up too much. Suddenly, I felt a gush of wetness. My water had broken! Now I knew the contractions were going to come faster. The pain was becoming more intense and the nurse offered a pain killer to help until I could get the epidural. However this painkiller also would also make me drowsy. I was naturally tired anyway with it being so late at night and the painkiller made me so groggy that I actually slept in between my five minute contractions. But I still managed to get up onto all fours when they came on. Now every time I had a contraction, amniotic fluid would gush out, so I stayed lying down.

The anesthesiologist then arrived for my epidural. I kept waiting for my contractions to become less painful, but they only became a little less painful. This is because I was dilating too fast.

My doctor (Dr. Nopadol) was called about an hour later and at about 1 AM or so, he arrived at the hospital and checked me. I was coming along quickly. He came back an hour or so later and checked again. This time I was 9 cm! He told me I would start to push around 3:15 and he would come back and get everything ready around 3. He said there was a great likelihood he would need to use forceps.

Well 3 AM comes and Golf and I see more staff wheeling in all sorts of medical devices, trays, tables, lights… I thought, wow, this is it! Our baby’s going to be here so soon! I felt mostly nervous and scared about this part. And it was time, I knew because my contractions were making me push – it was a very strange feeling, my body pushing all by itself and powerfully. Sure enough at 3:15, the doctor came back and he was in full sterile wardrobe and Golf had to change into a cap and gown. The bottom half of the bed was lowered and I was officially ready to push.

There were two nurses on either side of the bed who coached me to push when the doctor said to. At first my uterus was not pushing with me and I felt like I was useless. But the next time I pushed, I felt my uterus going to work and I pushed like I never thought I could. It was amazing that my body could do this! After about 5 or 6 pushes, the doctor announced that the next push could deliver my baby. Just before that, I felt a very sharp sting. He was giving me an episiotomy. I felt a contraction coming on and I said I was ready and my body pushed with all its might and suddenly I felt Aidan’s head pop out and a gush of water. The doctor never had to use the forceps, thank goodness. He suctioned the baby’s nose and mouth and before he could finish, my body, of its own will, pushed Aidan’s body out in a quick, slippery movement.

Dr. Nopadol placed the baby on my belly for us to take a good look at him. His little eyes were open but he wasn’t crying yet. I touched his wet head. I did it! We have our baby! Golf told me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me and we kissed. The doctor then cut the cord and Aidan had to be taken from us to the warmer to be cleaned and suctioned out. When he was on that table, Golf followed the nurses to watch and take pictures. Aidan then cried heartily and I felt better and elated.

The doctor began pushing my belly to deliver the placenta. It hurt a bit, but I never really felt it coming out. I saw it after he pulled it out, but I was too tired to care much. Then he went to work stitching up my episiotomy. I had no idea how big of a cut he made (I later on looked in a mirror and it looked well over an inch long, a very big cut!). It hurt quite a bit at first and he gave me a local anesthetic. During this time, the baby had been moved to the room where they weigh and measure him and do some testing. Golf went with them and I practically fell asleep as the doctor stitched me up.

Our baby weighed 7 lbs 7 oz. (In Thailand metric units are used, so he was 3.51kg. and 53 cm long). We spent 3 days and two nights in the hospital and relaxed and recovered and started to get to know each other. Since my labor was so fast – just under six hours at the hospital, Aidan’s head was very nicely shaped. My baby had no cone head. He was so cute! A perfect mix between my beloved husband and me.

He might have colic

Our baby is keeping us up all hours of the night. It starts around 9 or 10 PM, just when I feel like passing out from lack of sleep from the previous night. Then he nurses for almost an hour, then fusses. Golf takes him over for his fuss time, but he stresses out after an hour or so (understandably). Then I will take him and feed him again and it's back and forth, both of us til about 2:30 or 3 AM!!! I get 3 hours of sleep before Aidan's up and ready for his next breast feeding session. I cannot sleep more than about an hour or two during the day. I'm going to try breastfeeding laying down tonight. I hate to say it but this is interfering with my bonding with my son and it's breaking my heart. :( It's 6:15 and the night has begun. Let's hope it won't be as bad as last night. These first weeks seem to stretch for an eternity. I mean he's only a week old and most colic begins at two. He started at about 4 or 5 days of age. It's just so hard and this is one of my only opportunities to go on the internet to do anything. I haven't taken any visitors, nor do I want to leave the apartment. I hope life gets better soon.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

A not-so-easy transition

I've got just a few precious hours left before Aidan wakes up. I hope to finish this blog today and check a few more things online so I can get some precious sleep before he needs our attention again. My husband has a true godsend, my Mother thinks he's just perfect. He goes above and beyond the call of duty for helping me with the baby. I actually feel like it's me helping HIM with the baby -- my main duty is just to feed him.

The baby blues are officially here. I have crying jags because this little one is taking up everything -- all our time, attention and sleep. Our lives are turned upside down and it's nothing like the life I knew for 35 years being childless. But we've gotten through the first week. Yep, Aidan's a week old today. We're beginning to use some tricks on him to calm him down, but it's still frustrating when the only time he's awake he's crying or feeding. If he's not crying it's because my dear husband is rocking and playing and singing to him, which takes enormous energy, something I could not do. His arms ache from swinging the baby.

So bear with me when I don't post much. I'm going through a major life change and it's taking every ounce of my energy to deal with it. I know it will get better soon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Aidan decided to come four days early and he arrived on Sunday, May 22nd at 3:42 AM. My labor was very quick -- We arrived at the hospital on Saturday night at about 10 and I was only 1 cm dialated. That's less than 6 hours of labor in the hospital. I actually powerwalked with my mother earlier that night at about 6. Who would have thought that less than 12 hours later I'd have given birth?!?! I'm convinced it's a combination of all the yoga I had been doing and of the raspberry leaf tea my mom brought over. I drank a bunch of it for about three days.

Our boy is so beautiful and healthy and strong! Golf has set up a website of his pictures, although even today at three days old he looks different and cuter every day. He's also a lucky boy in that he was born on a major Buddhist holiday: Vishakabucha Day, the day that the Lord Buddha was born, achieved enlightenment and went to Nirvana. Well, baby needs to be fed and life with a newborn is now in full swing!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My Baby Shower!

Yesterday afternoon my colleagues had a baby shower for me at a nearby coffee shop. It was just so much fun to sit and gab for a few hours. We didn't have any games, which was fine by me, I just enjoyed the company of my friends and some really delicious chocolate crusted cheesecake. Good friends n cheesecake -- what could be better? :) Mom enjoyed herself a lot too and even learned some new Thai words, much to Golf's disappointment because they were naughty!

Aeid and Kwan, Mother and then I cutting that cake.

Cute little cotton baby outfit from Anne.

Michelle and Sue. My friend Anne was sitting next to Golf and we were going to get a group photo before we realized we were there til after closing and we all rushed to get out of there.

Opening a lovely present.

Mother showing Aidan's cute little Nepalese style hat she knitted for him. She passed around his knitted booties for all to see too. Everyone was amazed at her knitting abilities. Of course, Aidan won't be wearing these here in Thailand -- Mom's taking them back with her for him to wear this winter in the USA. ;)

Cute little doggie to play with the baby!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mom's Here!

We were getting a little worried last night as we waited and waited after Mom's flight arrived, 15 minutes early even! But she just got stuck behind a lot of people and, of course, her bags were the last to come out onto the carousel. We didn't get to sleep til about 3 AM, and so today I'm feeling a bit loopy. She's off getting a Thai massage to work out the kinks in her back and legs from the long flight.

Other news today is that at 4:30 my colleagues are throwing me a baby shower! WOW! It's being held at a nearby air conditioned coffee shop and Golf and Mother are coming too, of course. It will be nice to catch up on school gossip as well.

It's been nice n rainy, so it's cooled down *slightly* but certainly not enough to be considered refreshing. Just more humid. We are seeking out places to eat with A/C until Mom gets a little more used to the weather. Should have some good thunder and lightening for her!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Just learned that...

Kylie is actually postponing her Showgirl tour due to an early diagnosis of breast cancer.

From (Thanks to Carolyn!):
Kylie Diagnosed With Breast Cancer
Kylie Minogue, who turns 37 next week, has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Australian pop star has postponed the Australian and Asian leg of her Showgirl - The Greatest Hits tour, as well as her appearance at Glastonbury at the end of June.
Kylie was enjoying a holiday in Melbourne with her family and her boyfriend of two years, French actor Olivier Martinez, 39, when she discovered she had early breast cancer.
She will undergo treatment immediately, heading to hospital as early as tomorrow. She is expected to stay in hospital for two days and to then return to her parents' home in Melbourne to recover.
Kylie has herself backed cancer charities strongly ever since her father was treated for prostate cancer.

This is shocking news and I hope she recovers quickly.

I am just so BUMMED!!!!

We were taking the Skytrain home from our doctor's appointment today (everything is great with the baby, by the way) and a billboard jumped out at me because the first thing I saw on it was KYLIE. I've been a Kylie Minogue fan for a number of years -- I think she's exquisitely pretty and talented and sexy, yet classy and glamourous. And she's like 36 years old! What an inspiration! Now she's yet to do a tour in America and the billboard I pass by says she's going to be playing live in Bangkok on June 20th!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAUUGH!!!!! The IRONY!!!
Why couldn't it be this same date last year?!?! I'm certainly not going to be able to go. It's going to be my mother's last night with us and having a newborn baby at home is simply not feasible (nor would I want to) to be going out to a concert. Oh well, such is life...

Monday, May 16, 2005

A disturbing article

I got a link to this article from a weekly newsletter I receive, and it compares three generations of Americans and the attitudes and realities about employers, being faithful to your job and retirement. It looks bleak for people of my generation and younger. The second to the last paragraph was the big eye-opener for me.

Retirement's Unraveling Safety Net: Social Security Is Least of Newer Generations' Worries

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Awaiting Mother's Arrival

Well, mom gets here on Wednesday, or I should technically say Thursday morning at 1:00 AM. I'm really looking forward to her company and to take her out to some of our favorite places nearby, mostly restaurants to try out. Since we have no kitchen, Golf and I have to eat out all the time -- granted it's mostly at the market where both of us can eat for about $2.50. So can still be inexpensive. I still have to think about breakfast food for us. Golf never eats breakfast, and I often have fruit, yogurt and a small sandwich (minus the smammich in my pre-preggo days). I think I'll invest in some cereal in case Mom would like to have that...

We plan to do our weekly apartment cleaning on Wednesday during the daytime, postponing it from the weekend... and Tuesday we have the weekly doctor's appointment, so that just leaves today, Monday to be a bit bored, although in a few hours I plan to give Mom and Dad a call to confirm Mom's flight and talk about any final things she wants to bring or what we can do to help her out over here.

I'm going to see if I can handle some heat over the next few days. We've had our air conditioner on all the time except for the hour we go for lunch and the hour we go for dinner. That means it's running 22 hours a day! Last month's bill was about $50 and for Thailand and a smallish one bedroom apartment, that's expensive. If I can turn it off after Golf wakes up and see if I can leave it off til mid afternoon, then that's about a six hour break. It's been slightly cooler -- or I should say less hot -- the last week. When Mom gets here, I don't want to put her through the agony of dealing with the heat, so we'll have to keep the AC on for her all the time and that will run up our bill, so I want to save a little before she gets here.

Lastly, today is Monday the 16th and it's the first day of school for the new year. Kinda weird not to be getting ready for the big day, instead I'm sitting here in my nightie blogging away on the internet awaiting the birth of my baby. All my other colleagues are right now at school getting ready to know their students, many of them new. Quite a few new teachers, too. Anyway, my life is changing, and shortly it will be changing drastically. I'm looking forward to it! :)

Friday, May 13, 2005

It's the waiting game now

My mother arrives next week on Wednesday, so I have about 1/2 a week to wait around. Haven't been doing a whole lot because everything for the baby is ready. Golf and I do still need to pack our hospital bag. Turns out we don't need to bring much because the hospital provides everything. For the baby, I won't need to bring a thing. Nothing!! I couldn't believe it! The hospital provides us with a going home outfit, diapers, and a blanket. The only things I have to bring are a toothbrush, hairbrush and hairband, undies, my nursing bra, and what I will wear home. Everything else they provide. I swear the hospital is like a fancy hotel!

So I've just been hanging out in the apartment, only going out for food. It's cool in here -- we keep the air conditioner on and yes, we have an enormous electricity bill. We'll just deal with it til we leave for the States, that's all. I'm not going to be nine months pregnant and suffer in 98 degree heat plus just as much humidity!!! And with mother coming, she's not used to such weather, so we gotta keep it cool. The rainy season has also officially begun and we've been getting some nice thunder storms. I hope we get some fabulous thunder for my mom to experience -- it's so loud here it almost knocks you off your feet! Unfortunately, it rarely gets cool enough to turn off the air though. Just makes the weather even MORE humid. UGH. Well, this is a tropical country afterall! Can't wait to go back to California where I'm not sweating profusely the moment I step out of my door.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Another day out

Yesterday was our weekly doctor's appointment and all is well. Baby is still head down but hasn't dropped into my pelvis yet. Nevermind, I have over two weeks until my due date and I wouldn't mind it if Aidan stayed put until Mother arrives, which is in just about a week. Hooray!

I bought the last of our baby needs yesterday too, so besides packing my bag for the hospital we have everything ready to go. In addition to shopping, Golf got his haircut, a little bit extra short so he won't have to go have it done while the baby is still very young. We also saw the movie Kingdom of Heaven, which was pretty good. We're taking advantange of going to the movie theater when we can!

Today we're taking it easy around the house. It is a national Thai holiday called Royal Ploughing Day, where a ceremony takes place next to the Grand Palace at the big field. Rather than try to explain it myself, here is a link with pictures that tells you what it's all about.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

More dreams as the B-Day draws near

It happened again last night -- more weird dreams. Maybe I'm going to have them until this baby is born! Last night it was a nightmare, but weird at the same time. I don't remember all that much about it other than it was very disturbing. I think that the impending change in my and DH's life is quickly becoming a reality and we know that the change is coming very soon. I'm so glad my mother will be here with us! Oh, and Happy Mother's Day for all you moms out there! :)

I'll be home by myself this afternoon while Golf takes his new laptop in to have something looked at. Yes, he ended up having to purchase a new one, but it's a nice one and should last a good number of years. At least he can write off a portion of it in his taxes this year and for the next five years so that should help deflay the cost somewhat.

While he is away, I plan on working on my cookbook some more. I've been clipping recipes from magazines I buy and when I was working, I'd go to and print out recipes I thought looked good (on recycled paper -- I'm not a bad employee!). I've been assembling them with collaged bits of colored paper from other parts of the magazines and so it's turning out to be not only a cook book, but an art project as well and it's kinda pretty. It certainly passes the time! I thought I'd be bored stiff now that I'm not working, but I'm finding ways to fill up my time and the days are actually going by relatively quickly.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Strange dreams of being overwhelmed

It all began last night, when Golf and I went to his nephew's 5th birthday party. His neice has two sons and a baby daughter, and it was the older son's birthday (making him, what, Golf's grand-nephew?). Anyway, these boys are just completely out of control, especially the younger three year old. They tear up the house, are loud and destructive. But we cannot say a word, it is not our house and these are not our children. They are allowed to do things I would never allow my boy to do! The baby girl, Grace, is now 8 months old. She is the baby that made my jealous child show up: I held her when she was a newborn just before I found out I was pregnant! This girl has gotten so big and it made me realize how fast infants grow and I already felt sad that my baby was going to grow up so fast -- and he isn't even born yet!

The birthday boy ended up just loving the present Golf and I got for him -- an art set with colored pencils, watercolors, markers, glue, pencil and ruler, along with four coloring books. We had no idea what to get a bit of a spoiled boy who already has everything and it turns out that the simple creative toys are the ones they always love. I know I'd love to get something like that. It was the quietest I'd ever seen this boy as he was engrossed in coloring in his new books.

So early this morning I'm having a dream that I'm called in suddently to be a substitute teacher for an American high school class: 10th grade. In the States, they're more strict and you can't just plop them in front of a video or send them to the library when you sub (this is what I'd do if I was suddenly asked to sub a class here in Thailand -- what else can I do with no preparation?) you have to teach them something in the States. Anyway, I was called in but I had to also drive the bus, so I had absolutely no time to prepare anything for the class and I had no idea what the kids were studying. Talk about feeling stressed! So I get to see a hand written schedule of some of the things they were studying -- I had to sub five periods that day, and as I tried to copy down what topics were on the curriculum, my pen ran out of ink and I couldn't continue. (I've analyzed this part of my dream to mean I feel unprepared for what's ahead -- motherhood!!!!)

So I get into class and it's utter mayhem. I can't get these teenagers under control at all. I start to take roll call and some students even get up and leave the classroom! I don't know who is who and nobody is paying any attention to me as I try to get some order to the class. I go outside the class and usher in the stray students and try to get them to sit down at their desks. After 1/2 an hour I'm still not finished with roll call and the vice principal (or some other admin person) comes in to check out the class and see how I'm doing. I'm on the verge of crying when I tell her that I haven't even finished taking attendance and the class is over half way done. She takes over for a few minutes and gets everyone calmed down, in their chairs and quiet and finishes taking roll. After that, my dream ended more or less because I didn't know what I was supposed to teach them at that point! (This part of my dream is about my utter lack of control and fearing it too -- as I saw with Golf's nephews earlier that evening. The 10th graders in my class were acting more like 3 year olds!)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Frustrations again

My poor husband. He simply wanted to replace his old hard drive with a bigger faster one on his laptop and he went to a nearby computer shop to have it done. He got it home and it crashed, but he thought it was because of some software programs he loaded. He was able to get the computer to work to uninstall them, and also to back up some important data, but after that, the whole system continued to fail. He took it back to the computer shop and the guy there is totally stumped. He's had Golf's computer now for two days and Golf needs it for incoming jobs. They even tried reinstalling the old hard drive and it's still acting the same way!!!!

Now if nothing can be done to salvage Golf's computer, he's simply going to have to purchase a new laptop. It's certainly an unexpected grand he'll have to shell out, but he MUST have it for his job. He feels terrible about the timing with the baby coming and all, but I said that the expenses we have now are relatively low compared to what we'll have once we're in the States. A sudden $1K expense will hurt much worse in CA than here in BKK, plus he's recently done a job that more than pays for a new computer. So either Thursday or Friday he may have to go shopping. Let's hope his old computer works!

Another frustration lately: ANTS! They're EVERYWHERE and we spray but there's just no getting rid of them. This time last year we didn't have this problem with them. It's disgusting. We keep our apartment very clean and the kitchen area is immaculate, so there's no reason for them to be there. I guess we'll try spraying again when we leave this morning for our lawyer's appointment.

Last frustration that made my husband livid yesterday: Thai people don't get up for pregnant ladies unless they have muumuus on!!!! We were on the skytrain and it's packed. I'm wearing maternity pants and a tunic style shirt. Not one Thai person stood up but one young American woman did, and she had a ton of shopping bags as it is. We thanked her and Golf went on and on about the rudeness of Thai people and how blind they are if you aren't wearing the proper ugly maternity uniform of a pregnant lady. Well, we have to ride the skytrain again today and I guess I will wear the dress that closest resembles a muumuu so that I can get a seat without my husband blowing up. It's a shame, really and it's times like that when I cannot wait to get back to the States.

Oh! Had my last prenatal class at the hospital yesterday and if you would like to read about it, go to my pregnancy journal.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Food cravings lately

I've been on a real fruit kick lately. I can't get enough of the luscious tropical fruit here and have been enjoying such delights as mangosteen, rambutans, rose apples and sweet mangoes. All these fruits taste best to me when they've been chilled in the fridge -- partly cause it's so hot outside all the time. Golf's been indulging in durian lately because it's in season and these are his last few months he can enjoy it cheaply. He keeps it outside on the balcony since it stinks so bad and he has to use mouthwash and brush his teeth after eating any! LOL!