Saturday, October 20, 2018

Pregnancy #4 - Birth of our Princess Isabelle Sophie Tews

Who do you think she looks like more? 

Sooo, its been 3 weeks.

3 weeks since I gave birth for the 4th time. 

3 weeks since we welcomed our princess into our family. 

3 weeks since I became intoxicated with the smell of having a newborn again. 

Still, there are moments when I find it hard to believe that I'm a Mom of four now! 

Time has become an even more precious commodity. So, without further ado, I shall attempt to summarise the last stage of my 4th pregnancy in words. 


Baby Isabelle Sophie Tews was born 4 days past her due date. I was feeling sooo uncomfortable and huge that I was just one grumpy preggie whale towards the end. Gosh, I feel sorry for my husband and kids for having to bear with me those last few days!

All my previous pregnancies became progressively shorter with Liam being born at 39 weeks. That's probably why I expected Isabelle to be born before 39 weeks. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I went past the 40 weeks mark with her! 

Usually I'm fine about waiting past my due date but with gestational diabetes, I was under time pressure to get baby out because my gynae did not want to wait too long. In the worst-case scenario, they would induce the baby and with my previous C-section history with my firstborn, it would not be the most fun thing to do. 

On Monday, at 40+3 weeks, I remember feeling off. I had a bit of cramps but it was nothing like real contractions. 

25.9.18 (Tuesday) slightly past midnight -

We wanted to go to bed when I felt the crampy sensation getting worse. I wasn't sure if this was the real thing because I've been having Braxton hicks contractions all the time. 

I decided to take a nice warm shower to see if the contractions would ease off. They didn't. 

By the time I got out of the shower, I knew that this was it. 

The in-laws had just left for their vacation so there went our back-up. We didn't expect baby to come in the night, so we did not really ask anybody to be on standby. 

I knew that we had to think fast, so we decided to ring our immediate neighbour's doorbell. Thank God, the guy answered and he agreed to stay over at our place while we made our way to the hospital. The timing was fantastic too, cos all 3 kids were already sleeping soundly when we left. 

Usually I would have laboured a bit more at home but I didn't want to risk anything because I remember how my Mom told me that she almost gave birth to my brother (her 4th child) in the car.

1.15am - Arrived at Charlottenhaus (the hospital)

I was the only woman in labour! Yay!! September had been an especially busy month at the hospital because more babies tend to be conceived over Christmas and New Year's. Lol. I prayed that the labour ward would not be busy when I was in active labour - Prayer Nr 1 answered!

Midwife checked me and I was only 3cm dilated. :(

I was monitored on the CTG machine for a while before she told me to walk around the hospital, go up and down the stairs and to come back in an hour's time. 

2.30am - 5cm dilated

Even though it had only been 30mins, I decided to go back to the labour ward because I desperately had to use the washroom. And since I was back inside, the midwife examined me again. I was 5cm! That meant I dilated 2cm in 30mins! Awesome! 

We discussed whether the midwife should break my water bag. I hesitated so much because I remember how much more intense the contractions get once the water bag is burst.

I kept asking if I could opt for an epidural if push came to shove. She said the anaesthestist was just a call away. We decided to wait.

2.45am - 7cm dilated

This was when the midwife said it's time to burst the water bag if I want to expedite the whole process. My cervix had softened and she said that baby would appear by 3am if we burst the water bag now. 

She burst the water bag and examined me after that. I was 8cm gone, but I was not allowed to push because it was still too early. 

I remember the first wave of contractions after the water bag was burst. 

It was very intense and looooong! And ohhh the pain!! 

Second contraction hit me like a rock and I started screaming for an epidural. The midwife said that baby would arrive before the anaesthetist came and I am totally able to give birth without an epidural - I just needed to believe in myself. But I was in so much pain, I insisted that the anaesthetist be called in. 

Poor anaesthetist was woken up in the wee hours of the morning. 

By the 3rd contraction, I felt the urge to push! 5 mins ago, I was only at 8cm so it was quite crazy that I would have to push after 3 contractions?? With NO epidural?!  

Midwife examined me again and true enough, I was ready to go! What? Just 3 contractions later?!

Husband and midwife held me in a death-like grip so that I had to stay in the right position to give birth. I was lying on my back and the midwife was giving me instructions on how to push effectively. But I would have needed to roll my back forward instead of arching my back backwards. 

Since I was having very intense back contractions, I would automatically arch my back backwards whenever the contractions came. But since I was held down by both of them, I had no choice but to stay in the most effective position to push baby out. 

All I remember was trying to push as hard as I could. It must have been 4-5 pushes at most. I didn't even realise the baby's head was out. So imagine my surprise when I felt a slimy, wet sensation sliding out of me!! 

3.15am - Baby Isabelle Sophie Tews was born! 

She slid out so quickly and easily! I had no tears and needed no episiotomy. It was incredible! She was 54cm and 3920grams! My entire labour lasted 2 hours in hospital! What an answered prayer!! 

I held my baby girl in my arms and was soooo overwhelmed by the fact that this baby girl was born! And she's a girl! I sorta knew baby would be a girl, but after 3 boys, I never really could believe this fact until I saw it myself! 

I remember feeling more alive than I ever felt after my other labours! This was after all the shortest labour I've had. This meant that I didn't feel like I got hit by a bus (#1 pregnancy) and I didn't faint after giving birth either (#2 pregnancy).

They placed baby on me immediately for skin-on-skin contact. As I held her and stared at her face, I was so mesmerised at how she reminded me of myself as a kid! It's sooo surreal to finally be able to hold the baby that you've been carrying in your womb for 9 months!

I was sooo tired but I couldn't sleep during the 2 hours when I was lying down on the bed in the labour ward. I was too afraid that baby would slide off me! I breastfed Isabelle and had a whiff of the smell of BABY-freshness out of the oven! 

I read this book "Supernatural childbirth" by Jackie Mizie. She talks about how we can pray and trust God for a painless childbirth with no complications and tearing. I remember being challenged in my faith. I just prayed the same prayers that were written in that book. And honestly, those things I prayed about specifically actually came to pass! I was flabbergasted! My baby weighed almost 4kg and her birth was simply the best!

This is my 4th birth experience and I will never ever get tired of witnessing the miracle of life. A human being is made so intricately! When you're pregnant, you're so well-aware of everything that can go wrong. Pregnancy is such a minefield of emotions and learning to deal with the "what-ifs". You never take for granted a baby that is born healthy. How a baby forms in the womb is such a testimony of the existence of God! Yes, a baby is made between a man and woman. But that's the same as saying, I put flour, butter, eggs and sugar into an oven and expect a cake to come out. Someone has to do the baking and measurements and that person is GOD! 

We are slowly adjusting to life with 4 little ones. Isabelle has been a pretty calm and relaxed baby so that helps a lot. Evenings are still very chaotic with having to prepare dinner and get all kids in bed, but we will get there! 

I'm still on cloud 9 at having my own Princess to doll up and be my real-life model! All of our girly clothes have been given / lent to us by our friends! I love these hand-me-downs cos they are sooo gorgeous and well-loved! I'm so so so thankful to God for giving us a healthy baby to love on! This was the verse I sensed the Lord gave us when we were pregnant with Isabelle.

"Delight yourself in the Lord & He shall give you the desires of your heart". Psalm 37:4

Li En means "beautiful grace of God". I chose this name to sound like my late mother's name, "Lydia". To live in grace and grow in grace. That's my desire for Isabelle and myself!


Compare Isabelle's birth with:

- Samuel's birth
- Gabriel's birth
- Liam's birth

Isabelle Sophie Tews (Li En)
3920 Grams 54 cm

And after 2 hours, she's finally here!!! My precious daughter!

 1- day old Isabelle meeting her siblings for the first time! The look on Gabriel's face says it all! He was the one who started asking & praying for baby sister! 

Going home after 2 days at the hospital! Let the pink explosion begin! 

A dress on my baby! Say what?! 

3 boys & their little lady! 

Another beautiful dress! Albeit with a hangry baby!

By far one of my favourite photos of Isabelle & I!

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