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Leaving the hospital on the day of the birth – the first night at home with our newborn

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Leaving the hospital on the day of the birth – the first night at home with our newborn

Posted on 18 February 2015 by Kristrun

newbornontummyI remember clearly the first night at home with our firstborn. The labour had been very long, although the birth itself was eventually short and sweet. We were at Queen Mary public hospital in Hong Kong and if you want to know the details of my birth story, you can actually read it here, even if it’s not the subject of the day.

She was born shortly after lunchtime on a Sunday and we were fortunate enough to have no severe complications and went home that same evening. Well having said that, the pediatrician had recommended her to be observed in a special care unit for 48 hours but we had turned down her kind offer. This was a perfectly healthy baby and after consulting our midwife, we went home as planned.

We had to wait a bit after signing the discharge papers so we were working out how to give her the breast and it went OK. Her sucking ability was great and she was more or less on the breast until it was time to leave.  It took a while to get her dressed, as I had not been very practical about the clothes I chose for her. Get something that opens up widely and is easy to put on. I had bought a long dress which I had to put over her head and then try to find a way to put her arms through after it going over her head. She only wore that one once.

We took her home in a Maxi Cosi capsule, a great thing to carry infants around in, even if you don’t have a car. It protects them so well. In the taxi I was terrified, I thought everything was dirty and that she would be so scared to be exposed to all this light. I sat next to her, held her hand and was leaning over her so that our faces touched. She was fine and did not cry.

It was such a relief to be at home, it was less than 6 hours from her birth that we were in our own clean home. I was exhausted, but hubby was in a bit better shape and ready to help out. We made our selves comfortable on our big bed with her in the middle. She cried a lot and did not seem to settle well so we ended up taking turns walking around with her between the feeds. At some point very late, I fell asleep and woke up a few hours later. When I was waking up I knew something good had happened but it’s that moment where all of a sudden reality kicks in. I have a baby, and where is she? I soon found out. My husband was asleep next to me and Johanna was sleeping on his chest – one of the most peaceful  moments in my life.

We lasted that first night without great panic. But by trying to use all the resources we could think of. None of them likely to be recommended by a professional midwife, but we managed to rest and work it out. The midwife came later on that day – sorted out the breastfeeding positions and answered our many questions.  And gradually we got the hang of it.

My point is – you will educate yourself and try to get ready. And at the back of your head the resources will be there as needed. But sometimes you have just got to improvise and go with what works for you.

Kristrun Lind Birgisdottir ECE, mother of two.

 

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My two Birth Stories – Kristrun Lind

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My two Birth Stories – Kristrun Lind

Posted on 21 December 2013 by Kristrun

I gave birth to two children in a public hospital in Hong Kong. I had great support from the midwives at Annerley who educated me along the way. My vision was not that clear, I hoped for normal births with as little interventions as possible.
My first birth was at the QMH hospital. I had learned a few tips regarding what to expect in the hospital and all worked out for us. My first birth was very long, started very early on Friday morning and my daughter Johanna was born around 2pm on a Sunday. I happy familystayed at home until Saturday morning with my midwife and in active labour I went into QMH and straight into the delivery room. Something happened and the contractions dropped and I was transferred into the common ward. Equipped with instructions from my midwife – I was ordered to rest and sleep and the plan was to induced me in the morning. Hubby went home and rested as well. The next morning as planned I was induced, hubby was there and things moved as planned, induced with a walking epidural. When baby was about to pop out the staff panicked probably because I was on my knees and they started trying to pull her out – my husband firmly but politely requested that nature would have her way and they allowed it. 4 hours after being induced she was born. After quick examination where (high score healthy baby) they gave me my daughter and I managed to get her on the breast – the happiest moment in my life. The most wonderful sound in the world was to hear her breath.

The moment was interrupted when the pediatrician walked in and wanted to have Johanna transferred into the special unit because of “a risk of infection” (due to prolonged labour) – I could not believe my ears. My husband called our midwife and she explained how the hospital guidelines in HK differ from other countries – where this would never be suggested. And that the baby would be perfectly safe with us. So we said NO to having her separated from us and from there we requested to leave the hospital. It took them a while to sort out the papers but a few hours later we were home – continuing enjoying the moment. Our midwife came to see us the next day, followed by more home visits where she made sure everything was going well. We never went back to the hospital for follow up, the midwife took care of all off that. We enjoyed staying at home getting into the routine and getting used to being a new family.

My second birth was at the United Christian hospital. I negotiated beforehand that the baby would not be separated from us unless there was a matter of life or death. They agreed. It meant that I would need to take care of the vaccinations myself privately – as they would normally take the baby out of the room for washing and vaccinations.

Contractions started at 1am on a Tuesday morning, my midwife came around 9am, she sent us to the hospital 30 minutes later. Baby Tomas was born 10.30 am and we were out of the hospital before 12pm. They examined him on the table in the room, gave him to me – we had some time to put him on the breast and sort us out – then straight home.

It´s from my personal experience that I can highly recommend our best of both package with midwife care during labour, it´s the perfect setup for giving birth in Hong Kong. You have the public system there – the safest place to give birth in in HK. You have a fixed package and you know exactly how much you will need to pay – no matter how things go. You have private personal care combined with general public hospital care.

Happy holidays

Xx

Kristrun

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