Including my favourite TMI-subject: peeing. So what was it like, having the second one in Singapore?
In some ways it was very similar. Like when the contractions just wouldn't kick in properly and I had to keep on walking walking walking to irritate the uterus into action. Every time I sat down, the tiny painful period-like contractions subsided and the gynaecologist would shoo me off again.
Exasperated, he decided to give me another pill to induce me even further, which decision finally scared my uterus into submission and all of a sudden it started to contract like a maniac every two minutes or so. Again, from nought to sixty in a few minutes. Or, from 2 cm to 10 cm in an hour and a half, which is FAST. Pushing baby J. out was a breeze, like last time, no tearing, no episiotomy, lovely baby at the end. S. missed the end of the movie he was watching, just like last time, but fortunately, like last time, he'd already seen the movie several times (The day after tomorrow).
I didn't watch. But this time I wasn't offered a mirror to watch myself in, which I appreciated.
The whole thing took about twelve hours, counting from induction, and two hours counting from the onset of serious contractions.
Other differences: I was hooked up to several monitors (contractions, baby heart beat), an epidural, an IV and some other random stuff that I've forgotten the reason for. The TV was tiny, unlike the big plasma screen S. had last time. I was surrounded by medical equipment, just in case, which was not discreetly hidden into the wall like last time.
I had an epidural which made me an all round much more pleasant patient. Also, they didn't make me wait for the epidural, which was a good thing as any sort of wait would have rendered the whole thing unnecessary. The nurse called the gynaecologist, who came in wearing chino's and a casual shirt with rolled up sleeves, just in time for the delivery.
Speaking of casual clothing: Only the nurses wore shapeless white uniforms. The anesthesiologist wore a skin tight pink velours track suit.
But maybe the biggest shock for S. and me was how little time we ended up spending with baby J. They kept taking him to the nursery for a check, for vaccinations (yes, at a day old! And to think I postponed E.'s first immunizations until she was eight weeks old!), to warm him up under infra red light, to let him sleep, to let me sleep, to do the hearing screening - basically everything was done out of our sight. S. tried to go with him at first, but wasn't allowed in the nursery. It was a tad strange for us, as E. did not leave our sides for, oh, the first few weeks after she was born. Actually, not until S. went back to work and my mother came to kick me out of the house to get holiday presents for the whole family and realize that I could still exist separately from my child. (That was a revelation.)
Also: everytime they returned baby J. to us, we had to check to make sure he was ours. There have been switches (though thankfully not at our hospital).
Last time, the thing I enjoyed most after the birth was putting on my own socks. Bending over! No belly! This time however, I hadn't been able to pee the whole day, as a gigantic baby head was blocking all traffic downwards. The relief after I finally sat on my bedpan is indescribable.
After pains were a nasty surprise, however, especially during nursing. Ouch. The love E. obviously feels for baby J. is wonderful to behold. Yesterday she tried to nurse him when he started crying. Speaking of food: I loved the fact that I could choose from a menu in the hospital but it was still hospital food - or have we just gotten very spoiled with good food in Singapore?
S. stayed with baby J. and me the first night, while the Friesian set of grandparents looked beautifully after E. She is getting thoroughly spoiled, thankfully.
On the whole I am doing well. We had asked a Dutch nurse to come by a few times during the past two weeks, as there is no regulated after care for mother or child like in the Netherlands. This worked wonders for my confidence levels and to remind me of all those nifty little breast-feeding things and baby-care things I had mislaid in my memory box. I also had post-natal massage - brilliant! More on that in another post thought.
Baby J. is thriving, but not a great sleeper - though at least he sleeps better at night than during the day. I had forgotten how horribly difficult I find it to adjust to a newborn. (I had not forgotten - I had just chosen to think this time it would be different. It's not.) We have another two weeks of grandparental help, which again is wonderful - I wish they would move here.