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Welcoming Baby Leow into Our Family - Experience Accompanying My Wife in Labour Room

3rd June 2020 is a wonderful day for us. 

Baby Leow has arrived into the world!

"Even though I have expected this day to come, but the moment when I saw our baby born into this world in the labour room by Shirleen, the feeling is indescribable". I thought I would have contained my emotion well to welcome our baby, which is full of excitement, yet the reality was a mixture of exhilaration, confusion, unbelievable and gratitude.

"Thanks to all the great mothers in the world who undergo the enormous pain in delivering their babies". It was beyond words when I stood beside Shirleen, accompanying her throughout the whole labour process.


It was supposed to be another normal day in pregnancy for Shirleen though she is expecting to deliver anytime, in this era where Covid-19 pandemic is ravaging the world. I woke up at 8am, preparing to attend a company short meeting and sending Shirleen for her scheduled OBGYN checkup, which was supposed to be the last as her expected day is 5th June 2020.

Then she told me she was having irregular minor contraction in the wee hours of the morning. It was sharp pain, then it subdued later for few hours. So I was thinking it could be the false labour or known as Braxton-Hicks contraction. Since we are going to scheduled appointment in the hospital, might as well get the doctor to check and advise properly.


I finished my online meeting. The Covid-19 pandemic has shifted how the world operates. Many things have gone virtual, and many is losing their job and income. I am having this sense of job insecurity after getting laid off from my work in the beginning of 2019. Losing the job during this critical time - expecting baby & slow economy will have terrible repercussion. Thus, I am trying my best to carry the job well. 

I asked Shirleen how she feels. She said the same thing - irregular contractions and no unbearable pain. She still could carry out the daily chores as usual. 


Shirleen said she could not feel any contraction or pain in the last one hour. False alarm perhaps.

We have been missing a lot of great hawker food ever since Covid-19 striked the world. Being a pregnant lady, Shirleen sure have some craving to fix and I am trying to make sure she has a great pregnancy period. She has been missing Lebuh Acheh Wantan Mee for some time.

However there was no table to dine in at Lebuh Acheh Wantan Mee, and another 3-flavour Wantan Mee at Weld Quay are sold out. Time is running out, so we made the decision to skip the breakfast and rush to hospital for follow-up instead. 


Finally it is Shirleen turn to see the doctor. 

As usual, the doctor greeted us and asked Shirleen whether she has any sign of delivery - contraction pain or bleeding.

I can see the slight change in doctor's face when he was informed that Shirleen has felt irregular contraction this morning. It was like an agreement or confidence showed on the doctor's face. Meanwhile, I was getting more unsettled but chose not to express it in anyway. I knew the labour day has to come ultimately, yet hers and the newborn's safety are my biggest concern. 

After ultrasound, the doctor checked her cervix dilation and it was 3cm wide, accompanied with a tad of blood stains. Immediately, doctor advised for admission and said delivery is probably around 5pm later. 


I have to proceed to meet customers since appointments have been secured, while the nurse guided Shirleen to the labour room. 

The truth is I cannot concentrate my mind in delivering my messages to customers. Guilt filled my mind as I left her alone to the labour room, thinking she could be scared and alone in the cold room. While she assured that she is all fine to me via text messages, the restless grew inside me. 

Meanwhile, I was stuck in customer's meeting still.


Shirleen texted me to ask me get the documents from clinic's nurse and proceed to do payment, and also ask to pick the pediatrician in charge later. I could see her labour pain was getting immense as there were so many errors in spellings in her message.


While I was doing the admission process with the hospital administration, she texted me that doctor has broken her water! 

So fast? I was under the impression she was still taking her own time in the labour room, as doctor deduced the delivery will in the evening later.


I arrived at the labour room. 

The moment I stepped into labour room, the baby's heartbeat could be vividly heard thanks to the machine attached to Shirleen's baby and amplifying its sound. Although it wasn't the first times hearing the heartbeat (first times being the checkups done in clinic during first trimester), but it felt so wonderful as it yield a close connection between me and the baby.

The setting in labour room is obviously different from what we see in typical Hong Kong or Taiwan drama. In fact, it was spacious and comfy with plenty of room. The newborn radiant warmer is ready at the corner of the room. 

She was okay still. Contraction come and go, and she can talk naturally to me, even joked. I hoped she would have a labour process without much pain. As I told her, tell the nurse or doctor you need Epidural in case the pain really unbearable. 


The intensity of her pain increased a lot. She was struggling in the labour bed, moving her legs uncontrollably here and there. A nurse came back to check the drip, and she told her Epidural was no longer possible. She then said this is mild level of pain and the intensity would go double or triple of the current level. 

When Shirleen heard Epidural is no longer possible, she started to get worried amidst of the pain. I asked for painkiller and the nurse said ok. Shirleen was having trouble to focus, and she thought she will be issued Epidural after hearing the word "painkiller". I just concured with her to make her feel at ease. Still, her legs keep moving here and there on the bed and blood spots were staining everywhere in the bed.

In my heart, I wonder how did all mothers-to-be endure this type of pain for hours.   


The doctor suddenly dropped by the labour room to see how is Shirleen doing, even though he told us Shirleen most likely to be delivering in the evening. Upon seeing Shirleen is in deep pain to the extent having difficulty responding to his questions, he decided to check the cervix dilation.

I actually feeling helpless in the labour room. Seeing Shirleen was suffering from excruciating pain, and yet I cannot do a single thing to relieve her from the pain. This type of pain is we, as men would never able to experience. Never in my life I had pain to the extent rolling without conscious.

After checking her cervix dilation, Dr told the nurse that she was ready to deliver and ordered the nurse to get every the necessary instruments ready. From fixing the leg support, getting injection, adjusting the drip and many more. Can feel the immense activities ongoing in this room.

Flashing back, we were so fortunate the doctor come at this hour to check her dilation and immediately initiate the necessary procedures. There was a nurse dropping by early and just told us the threshold of pain she was having was normal, and it might increase to double or even triple. This has put me into a deep shock!


During Shirleen's pregnancy time, we often had discussion how to deal during the labour, such as what to do if she had pain alone at home, and agreement on various factors. One of the agreement Shirleen made me do was never look at the entire labour process in the labour room, and just be there to support her duly. She was concerned I will be unable to take the horrifying scene - blood around, large baby head passing through the vagina, and causes me to faint on the spot.

However in the labour room, my heart propelled me to look at the entire process. It was not due to curiosity but more to play the role as a message convenyor. By doing so, I am able to tell her directly is the baby head coming out, how is the progress currently, which I believe can inspire her further more in the entier progress. I reckon this is the role a husband and a future father should play in a labour room, perhaps?

Okay.. the entire scene was not as scary as I thought. Cannot deny there were a lot of blood, and as she focus on pushing the baby then I can see the baby hairs and head slightly. I have to say, it was an amazing yet odd scene, with a mixture of unexplained joy with slight worry when the head returns back to the inside. 

I am glad I did not miss that moment, as perhaps this is the once in a lifetime moment where I got to witness how my daughter is being brought to this world by my wife.

At this time, the doctor was commented Shirleen was not pushing the correct way occasionally, resulting the baby could not come out in time as expected.


Doctor told the staff nurse to get ready his vacuum, and explained what is a vacuum and how it will help to facilitate the process of delivery to Shirleen. 

I saw she nodded but I wonder she gets the messages or not amidst of the pain.

By usage of vacuum, that means my daughter is getting close into her arrival to the world.

The doctor then proceed with the procedures and I do not know how long it takes before I see something slipped toward to the doctor's hand. 

That is Baby Leow!

The nurse carefully lift her up, then the doctor asked me to confirm the current time and certify her exact birth time. I gazed at her, then look at my tired wife in the bed and gently pat and comfort her. 

I felt so grateful toward the safe procedures guided by the team in hospital that led to a smooth delivery by Shirleen. She suffered from postpartum hemorrhage, got bed-ridden for a day with an urine bag attached but all the efforts and pain she went through were handsomely rewarded with a healthy baby.

By the time I am penning the article, both of us are 12 days officially parents with sleep deprived, emotionally and physically challenged, struggling to understand the baby with her irregular crying. Nevertheless, she is biggest joy in both of our life and we have never been so grateful ever.

This is just a small beginning and more will come. Hope both of us are strong to pull this through and guide Baby Leow into someone that contribute into the humanity. 

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