My friend, Natasha, was so lucky when she went for her follow-up check with gynae Loh yesterday. The clinic was empty when she arrived! She quipped that she should buy a lottery ticket. Apparently the clinic started operation earlier at 1.30pm so that Loh could clear his patient load. But for me, when I arrived for my appointment this afternoon, despite being on time, there were still 5 patients ahead of me! Anyway I told Natasha about the Mr Bean comedy programs shown on the TV in the clinic ( she hasn’t been there since the birth of her baby). She told me TV was showing channel 8 (Chinese) programs instead, and indeed it was when I was at the clinic earlier. Maybe someone told Loh Mr Bean is passé now.
When Loh saw me, he thanked me for making him more socially aware of different views. Yet he dismissed Workers Party Secretary-General, Low Thia Kiang’s lashing out at the main-stream media (MSM) for being a tool of the ruling party (PAP). He said, “of course the media will be controlled by the government, they have to reflect the views of the government.” My husband challenged him, “you mean like North Korea?”
Luckily we didn’t spend too much time on the political debate. Loh proceeded to the ultrasound scan before we got side-tracked. I told him I might be leaking amnio fluid. He was a little concerned when he heard that as it might trigger an infection, especially since I had it a few weeks ago. The scan showed there was still a lot of fluid inside my tummy, and he asked me, “do you notice something about the liquid?” I peered at the screen, “it looks murky”, and he said yes, and that it might be caused by meconium (earliest stool produced by the infant). He won’t know until he broke the water bag. My husband asked him if it was possible I could be dilated then, and that was when Loh decided to do a cervical exam on me.
So finally I was having the exam which I had heard so much about, mainly that it’s pretty painful. I thought I should prepare the breathing technique, but I only had a deep breath before Loh went ahead with the check. Strangely I didn’t find it painful, just mild discomfort. Loh was impressed, “wah, you’ve the Hougang spirit! High pain threshold! Many of my patients would be screaming.” It turned out I was already 3-4cm dilated but I seriously couldn’t feel the contractions. We had a discussion with Loh who thinks that it would be better for me to be admitted then, so that I could have the water bag broken to check on the fluid, since the meconium could cause distress to baby. I would also be given Oxytocin to increase contractions, so he thinks baby may come tonight. He said, “I don’t think you need epidural.” “How do you know?” “You didn’t even feel any pain during the exam just now. The other day I did a check on a woman, and she screamed so much that people in the other room also could hear. Headache!”
So it’s a little unexpected that I would be checking into the hospital tonight. But it’s time for baby Alex to come anyway even through the estimated due date is this Saturday. During the scan earlier, Loh found that he might be 3.2kg now. I hope he’s not too big for my pelvic bones.
My husband and I went to the delivery suite (though we went to the wrong place, the operating theatre, initially) to admit me. Once I mentioned I was 3-4cm dilated, the nurse acted quickly and brought us to the observation ward. I was like, “sheesh!” The nurse turned to look at me, and I asked her nicely, “would it be possible for us to be in the delivery suite with attached bathroom?” She said sure and brought us to an available room. Yay!!!
(Update on 1 June)
I missed out a couple of stuff before I sent out the post yesterday, as I had some difficulty focusing in the delivery suite. So I’m updating the post today, and will have a new one dedicated to the labor and childbirth process. I’ll only wanna say that contraction is really a bitch!!!
Even after the ultrasound scan, Loh didn’t just focus on Baby Alex. He couldn’t resist giving his political views again, “if you have strong views on something, you shouldn’t just ‘kao bay’ (complain in Hokkien). You should take up active citizenry to do something about it.” Well, my dear Dr Loh, you’re basically parroting what BG Chan Chun Sing (acting Minister of Community, Youth and Services) said, ie asking us to resolve problems ourselves. Then why are we paying these ministers millions of dollars to find solutions to lead the country? We might as well take the money and come up with our own solutions.
I also dunno how it got started, but I asked Loh for his age, and he was rather coy about it. He said, “my daughter is 21 years old, but I didn’t have her when I was 21. Had to go for specialist training first. So… I’m 28.” My husband turned to me and added, “28 dog years.”