Corinthian's Birth Story

 
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Our baby's due date was May 8th. Several people (without degrees in medicine) guaranteed me that he would come early because my belly was that big and they "just had a feeling." Well I had a feeling he would be late, so while I didn't dismiss the possibility of an early arrival, I expected his due date would uneventfully come and go. May 8th indeed came and went without a birth, so we scheduled an induction for Monday, May 14th.

The evening before the induction (Mother's Day), I started feeling this weird pressure that I hadn't felt before. I didn't think much of it because it wasn't a contraction, and you feel a lot of weird things when pregnant. Before going to bed that night, I felt the pressure again but stronger. I thought I just really had to go to the bathroom. When I felt like I had emptied my bladder, more liquid gushed out. At first I just thought it was more pee cuz even though I was super prego I did have a pretty decent teacher bladder and could hold in a lot.* But when I stood up, but more liquid came gushing out - into the toilet, thankfully. I knew my bladder wasn't that big, so at that moment I knew my water had broken! I told Kelvin and camped out on the toilet while he very excitedly ran around the house saying things like, "This is so exciting!" and "I'm sorry I didn't finish packing my hospital bag!" and "Hehehe, I can't believe this is happening!" Fortunately, my water breaking wasn't an emergency situation, especially because I wasn't having any contractions at that point, but we did hurry out the door.

Around 12:45am, we arrived at the hospital, and I waddled my way up to the front door while holding a bunch of towels between my legs. It felt like my water was turning into Niagara Falls, I kid you not. I was  admitted to triage for a few hours while we waited for my cervix to dilate. I finally started feeling contractions, too. They brought me to labor and delivery where the real work began. As soon as I was about 3 or 4 cm dilated, I got an epidural. I know my body and knew that my body would probably take a very long time to fully dilate and get through the birthing process, so I decided ahead of time to get the epidural so I wouldn't decide while in labor and it end up being too late. The epidural felt amazing! The contractions started to get really intense, and then the pain from them was instantly gone. My dilation was progressing pretty slowly, so my nurse had me lie on one side for a few minutes then switch to the other. When I lay on my right side, baby's heart rate would go down, so the nurse made me stay on my left side.

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Unfortunately, epidurals work with gravity, so all of the pain killing power went down to my left side, and my right side was KILLING me (not literally.) It was definitely the worst pain I had ever felt. When I complained about the pain, the nurse wouldn't let me lie flat or switch sides to even out the medication because of baby's heart rate dropping on my right side. Instead, she called the anesthesiologist back in to give me more pain medication. I was writhing in pain, so I just remember saying, "OKAY!!" when she asked if she should bring him back in the room. It was still so hard to breathe deeply and stay ahead of the contractions, but Kelvin and my parents helped tremendously (thanks, guys!)

After a few hours, that nurse's shift ended, and I got a new nurse. She helped me lie on my back safely, which helped the medication even out to both sides without compromising baby's well being. The pain was a little better, but the labor was pretty long. After a few hours of trying to breathe through the worst menstrual-like cramps I've ever felt times like 12 million, the doctor came in and said I was 9.5cm dilated! I knew that pushing this babe out would come next and was dreading it, but at least the end was in sight. After a few more dilation checks, the doctor and nurse realized that my cervix was starting to swell in some areas. They said the swelling was my cervix's way of saying, "This baby isn't gonna fit through here, so I quit." A c-section was looking like our only viable option for getting him out. Yes, a c-section, after 23 hours of labor and 40+ hours of virtually no sleep! I actually wasn't too mad about the c-section; I was just ready to meet this baby!

They brought me into the operating room, and Kelvin also came adorned with scrubs. All I really remember was feeling SUPER nervous and lying on this extremely flat and narrow surgery table. It felt like there was a ton of pressure on my chest and face. I could breathe just fine, but it felt like I couldn't. My mouth was 100% dry. The room smelled weird. I could feel the back-and-forth sawing down there but didn't feel any pain from it. That one Evanescence song (the only one everyone knows) was playing VERY loudly. Kelvin accidentally took a picture of my uterus and showed it to me. WHY?! So many weird sensations. Before I knew it, at 1:11am I saw and heard this dangly red object and realized that that was our son! I immediately started sobbing because I thought I was supposed to and definitely felt like I needed to. I gave Kelvin the okay to go over to him while the nurses and doctors sucked fluid out of his nose, weighed him, and other newborn things.

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The next few days were such a blur. All I remember are little isolated highlights from our hospital stay:

  • A few hours after moving to the recovery room, I threw up all over my hospital bed and on the floor from drinking too much water after the c-section.
  • Corinthian and I started this crazy journey called breastfeeding.
  • Kelvin and I couldn't keep track of what day or time it was. Neither could Corinthian.
  • We just stared at him and said, "Did this really happen?"
  • We maybe slept 8 hours over the span of 3 days.
  • We worried over weird little things, but the pediatrician assured us that he was perfectly fine.
  • Corinthian got a bath!
  • I took a shower.
  • I ordered aaaalllllllllllll the food from the hospital cafeteria. Food was free for patients, so I just ordered a bunch and gave some to Kelvin, too. Yay!
  • I rang the little chime that's heard throughout the hospital when a baby is born. Made me tear up for sure; hormones are crazy after having a baby.

It's now been over two months since Corinthian was born. We're navigating all things baby, and just when we feel used to life with baby, he throws in another variable, like a growth spurt during which he barely sleeps at night. Ah! We sure do love him and are trying to soak up every moment while he speeds ahead in his development and shows off his fun personality. We can't wait to see more of the amazing person God designed you to be, Corinthian!

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Corinthian Kaison Wong / born on May 15, 2018 at 1:11am / 19.5 inches long / 7 pounds, 8 ounces

 

 

*It's not safe to hold your bladder for extended periods of time while pregnant because it can cause a bladder infection, so if you're prego and reading this, go find a bathroom right now! 

Our Baby Registry

I thought it might be fun to document the first things we got for our baby, and hopefully it will be helpful for you, whether you're an expecting parent or looking to buy gifts for new parents. After all, baby stuff can be super overwhelming as there are countless brands, colors, materials, etc., all for the same thing (i.e., burp cloths. I hate shopping for burp cloths.)

Some Fun Baby Stuff We Registered For

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Dragons Love Tacos / baby carrier / sweatshirt / This Is How We Do It / alpaca / I Want My Hat Back / blocks sorter / onesie

When I started putting our registry together, I added anything and everything that I saw mom friends using without truly understanding how to use them or what they were for. I just kept adding and adding to the registry like a contestant on a weird grocery shopping competition show furiously throwing boxes of cereal into their cart. At one point I had over 200 items on our registry. I thought that might overwhelm friends and family, so I tried to narrow it down. Looking at trusted blogs (the ones that had a similar lifestyle as me, like living in a warmer climate) and some YouTube videos was super helpful. I found this video especially helpful since she goes through a lot of products and explains how she uses them with her baby.

Some Baby Essentials We Registered For

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bath sponge / diaper bag / humidifier / gripe water / thermometer / pacifier / bottles / swaddle / wipes / diapers

Kelvin and I are very grateful and touched by our friends' and families' generosity in their gift giving. We feel really loved, cared for, and provided for. It's not easy to feel somewhat dependent on others' generosity, but the baby bill racks up fast! At one point in the middle of baby showers and wrapping up my job before maternity leave, I realized that I had some unhelpful expectations with regard to receiving and buying baby stuff. This was just my experience, but here's what I learned:

1. You do not need all the things!

2. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you get. You're not going to ruin your baby's life by getting or not getting certain things. Babies are resilient, and they have a 100% chance of surviving without a butt wipe warmer. Still, there's nothing wrong with getting one if you really want one. Keeping this in mind has helped my grabby hands stay still while walking through the baby section at Target. Sometimes.

3. Several people who give you baby gifts will not even peek at your baby registry. This is okay! It doesn't mean that they don't care enough to do so.

4. The gifts that you receive that are not on your registry may not come with a gift receipt or any indication of which store they came from, so keep it (hello, re-gifting), donate it, or download one of those apps that shows you all the places it could have come from and try to return it (I tried ShopSavvy.) The only thing is that you might have to go to a few different stores until you find the place where it was purchased, and some places have really crappy return policies without a receipt, even if it was a gift.

4. Many people prefer to buy fun baby stuff like clothes and stuffed animals rather than the essentials like butt cream or baby wipes. Nothing wrong with that, I just thought I would've gotten all the super mom products that worked wonders for other babes, but I don't think there's any one baby product that's universal for all babies anyway (see #7.)

5. It's okay to wait and see if you'll actually need something until after baby is born. Amazon, people! You'll just want to make sure you have the absolute essentials right away like a place for baby to sleep, diapers, wipes, etc.

6. Speaking of Amazon, Amazon Prime! Worth it.

7. Ultimately, baby decides what baby likes, so even though you spent a lot of money on that baby swing, it doesn't mean they'll put on a fake smile for you and pretend to like it.

Welp, our baby is nice and cozy in ma' belly and oblivious to the fact that he's past his due date, so I'm planning to do an update post in a few months on which products worked and which ones didn't. Stay tuned!

A Special Announcement!

We have a special little "project" happening and growing in ma' belly! It's pretty obvious from the images below, but yes, we are expecting!!!

Here's what we know so far:

  • BOY
  • Healthy
  • Loves to move
  • Able to suck his thumb (that was CRAZY to see on the ultrasound!)
  • Due May 8
  • Name TBD
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Our announcement on social media and this blog is so late (I'm 20 weeks) because
1) we're busy people who happen to be a little lazy,
2) we tend not to put personal things online, and
3) we had a miscarriage last spring and wanted to take things one day at a time (more on that below.)

Being pregnant is awesome but such a strange experience. I cannot believe how quickly time has gone. It seems like yesterday that we first spotted that little nugget on the 8-week ultrasound. It's only been one week since the 20-week ultrasound, yet it feels like it happened just hours ago. The speed at which these little creations grow is mind boggling. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, but I keep making a parallel in my mind between our son (feels so weird to say that!) and Dart from Stranger Things, Season 2. Dart, Dustin's Demodog, grew super quickly, as is our baby.

 Week 8 ultrasound - super tiny and hard to see 'cuz of my full bladder! Oops.

Week 8 ultrasound - super tiny and hard to see 'cuz of my full bladder! Oops.

 
 Baby Dart ( source )

Baby Dart (source)

 Thumbs up! Week 20 ultrasound (I think it's funny how the baby's face looks like a creepy skull, but it's actually turned to the other side.)

Thumbs up! Week 20 ultrasound (I think it's funny how the baby's face looks like a creepy skull, but it's actually turned to the other side.)

 
 Halfway grown Dart! ( source )

Halfway grown Dart! (source)

See how the ratios of size resemble each other? Now hopefully our baby won't have the urge to eat people's guts like demogorgons do. So far, so good.

I do want to say that it's a very joyful but hard thing for me to make this pregnancy announcement. It took us 1.5 years to get pregnant the first time, and I struggled so much with jealousy, fear, and discouragement while we were trying because a lot of our friends were getting pregnant, and then getting pregnant again. My heart would feel happy for our friends yet the sting of bitterness felt so real when another baby announcement would pop up on my feed. When we finally got pregnant last January, we found out early on that it wasn't viable. I had a blighted ovum, which is an implanted egg without an embryo inside. My grief felt so unjustified because it was just an empty shell, not even a baby. What's worse is that it took 4 months for the miscarriage to carry out, while it takes most women about 2-3 weeks. We are so, so grateful for this baby, and I wonder if we would even be able to feel the depth of this amazing gift without having a miscarriage first.

I know I'm not the first to speak up about struggles with infertility, but if you or someone you know is struggling with it, please know that so many women and couples stand with you. There's not much I could say to make things better, but I do want to say that one thing that hurt more than helped was putting so much pressure on myself to get pregnant and to put on a happy face when I just felt discouraged and sad (and a lot of times, selfish.) I constantly compared myself to women who happened to be very fertile, and I wondered what was wrong with me. Please don't do that to yourself. There is nothing wrong with you or your body, and as hard as this may be, this is part of God's story for you. He IS going to make all things new and right! You are loved and important. Happy holidays, merry Christmas, and peace and love to you!