Nothing Beats How My Korean Drama Princess Enters The World!

There’s nothing more dramatic if not traumatic on the arrival of our little princess TaeRi about the way she enters the world!

Valerie said that the pavement onto which she had given birth was like a homicide scene! In retrospect, it could actually be quite daunting if one were to stumble on it when the dawn breaks and residents of the block went to work and school.

Valerie on the phone with her O&G who could not attend to her because Val is not in Mt. Elizabeth Hospital where she practised.

The doctor who delivered TaeJin and TaeYang at Mt. Elizabeth Hospital (Novena) could not attend to Valerie at the KK’s Women and Children’s Hospital as she does not practise there. Valerie related the incident to her doctor over the phone. Upon hanging up, Val: “LOL… My gynae said, for your number 4, please plan ahead, schedule and induce labour!”

Boys were curious with what the nurse was doing to their mom.

TJ and TY reunited with mom.

Meanwhile, the boys were happily exploring the place and TJ turned to Valerie and exclaimed, “Nice room, mommy.”

Boys checking on their little sister. Both took turns to touch her little toes.

Valerie had complained about the hospital food so Ryan bought a tuna croissant from DéliFrance, which TaeJin quite enjoyed nibbling some of his mom’s lunch. He kept asking when I was going to get him that big sandwich which I promised after Val had devoured hers. It was also nearly the time for their afternoon nap so I brought the boys to get the sandwich before heading home. But the boys didn’t know, they thought they would return to their mom after bread shopping. When we got out of the lift heading towards the carpark, TaeJin suddenly cried, “Omah!” He realised we weren’t going back. His cry made TaeYang cried, too! I tried to trick him into the car and he struggled a little. I assured him that mommy would be coming home after the doctors have examined TaeRi. That’s when he settled down and got buckled up.

Munching on tuna croissant, more croissant than tuna! Wasted $7.80, lol… Should have just gotten him a plain croissant.

Later that night, I visited the boys after my dinner appointment with Jerry. I stayed with them for a couple of hours till it was bedtime. The boys tried to sleep but they missed their mommy! TaeJin tried to reason with me, repeating several times, “TaeRi OK. Omah stomach is small now, no?” He was soliciting an answer as to “Why are they not home yet? It’s our bedtime! Omah is always around when we go to bed!” Poor momma’s boy, TaeYang cried on the way home from the hospital and was crying just then when we turned off the lights and was getting him ready for bed, “Omah, omah, omah…”

Latest addition to the Kwak family!

He says:

Welcoming our beloved baby daughter #kwaktaeri into the #kwakfamily and she couldn’t have come into this world in a more dramatic fashion. Woke up at 5:19am to @valeriecher telling me that she was in excruciating pain, that the baby was coming today! I hurried downstairs to get the car parked right under our block and went back upstairs to get Cher. I entered the house to her lying on the sofa groaning “The baby’s gonna come out! I can feel the pressure of the head!” and my words of reassurance of “Hang in there baby, you’ll be fine. We’ll reach the hospital in no time!” was completely ignored at that point. Supported her down the corridor but her screams kept getting louder and louder. Finally made it down the lift and what she said next left me stunned with horror: “The baby’s head is coming out!”. The baby head was literally popping out and Cher was covered in blood on the floor by the roadside while rain drizzled down on us. It took every ounce of courage but I had to deliver the baby right there and then. Our beautiful girl came to the world in the rain on the pavement at 5:53am. We called the ambulance which took our little one and my wife safely to the hospital. Even as I’m writing this, there’s still a crazy rollercoaster of emotions lingering on but all that matters right now is the that my dear wife, who showed tremendous strength and courage, is now recovering well, and our miracle of a daughter is healthy ❤ ~ Ryan on Instagram.

The post had so many likes, it was featured on related page in IG Explore! We joked that Ryan could become an Influencer on IG to which he tells Valerie, “Then you have to give birth every week!” Hahaha… 😀

She says:

Our little princess Avery Rose Kwak Taeri 곽태리 was born yesterday at 3.14kg in very extreme circumstances. We couldn’t make it to the hospital in time and had a epic hubby-led self-birth ordeal! Intense contractions started at about 5am, I started timing the contractions as per protocol, wanting to wait till they were about 10 mins apart before waking hubby and heading over to the hospital. With both TJ & TY, it took about an hour of timing at home before it got to the point where we left for the hospital. This time however, the pain escalated so fast I was rolling around in excruciating pain within the first 15 mins. I crawled over to hubby by 5:20am, waking him with “NOT A DRILL. TODAY IS THE DAY!” It was the most crazy indescribable intense gut wrenching pains ever and was half paralysed on the boys’ play mat in the living room waiting for seonghoon to get our stuff. I knew by then that these were not just normal contractions. There was no intervals, it was one huge long endless contraction that feels like someone is crushing and churning your insides and like a little alien is descending and tearing your body open like in a sci FI movie at the same time. I was so far into the pain zone I had no idea what was happening, I couldn’t move and could feel my body instinctively starting to push as the crushing feeling grew and the baby’s head pressuring down and almost out. I have zero clue how I crawled/slithered out of the house on hubby’s arm and made it downstairs, but the moment we got out of the lift I knew that I AM GIVING BIRTH. Right now. Right then and there. Seonghoon was an absolute superstar. Both of us were completely clueless as to how to birth a baby but somehow he did it, and our baby miracle was born by 5:53am. Thank you God for your love and mercy. Events like these truly remind me of the miracle of life and God’s amazing grace. I’m also super Super thankful for, and more head-over-heels-in-love with than ever, my incredible (and now severely traumatised) Husband who was our hero and continued handling the post birth affairs like a champion throughout the day. I love you so much honey, I trust and rely on you always 💕 ~ Valerie on Instagram.

Remember the motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for World War II “Keep Calm And Carry On” ? And everyone was making up their Keep Calm And…

“Keep Calm And You May Now Start Vaginal Birth Without Epidural And Episiotomy!” Okay, bad joke. It’s a joke now that everybody’s fine. The more I researched and write on Valerie’s delivery experience, the more I am aware how things could have gone awry and spiral down quickly. Praise the Lord for my daughter and her daughter’s safety. Amen!

What’s not on Instagram and FB posts:
Ryan: “After seeing the baby’s crown, I was thankful that the baby’s not in a breech position. I put my palm under her head and with another push from Valerie, I put my other palm under the baby’s shoulders and helped her glide out (quite easily). I was in shock actually and just starring at this sweet little thing. She wasn’t crying. Valerie realised the *amniotic sac was half covering our child’s face. Valerie pulled it away and snapped me out of my daze, “You have to *suck the baby!” As my lips just touched her, she started crying. That’s when I know the baby’s alright.

Why do they need to suck the baby?

While inside the mother, a developing fetus does not use the lungs to breathe — all oxygen comes from the blood vessels of the placenta. During this time, the baby’s lungs are filled with fluid.

As the baby’s due date nears, the lungs begin to absorb the fluid. Some fluid also may be squeezed out during birth as the baby passes through the birth canal. After delivery, as a newborn takes those first breaths, the lungs fill with air and more fluid is pushed out. Any remaining fluid is then coughed out or slowly absorbed through the bloodstream and lymphatic system. ~ Kids Health.org

Since TaeRi had spent 9 months in amniotic fluid, her lungs are full of it. Ryan needed to suck the baby in order to clear her lungs, airways and also the mouth of any fluid and mucus to enable her to take her first breath.

When the amniotic sac has not ruptured during labour or pushing, the infant can be born with the membranes intact. This is referred to as “delivery en caul“. Luckily, it broke and she was born with the caul.

“A child “born with the caul” has a portion of a birth membrane remaining on the head. There are two types of caul membranes, and there are four ways such cauls can appear.

The most common caul type is a piece of the thin, translucent inner lining of the amnion which breaks away and forms tightly against the head during the birthing process.

The caul is harmless and is immediately removed by the physician or midwife upon delivery of the child. If the membrane is of the amniotic tissue, it is removed by easily slipping it away from the child’s skin. The removal of the thicker membrane is more complex. If done correctly, the attending practitioner will place a small incision in the membrane across the nostrils so that the child can breathe. The loops are then carefully un-looped from behind the ears. Then, the remainder of the caul can be either peeled back very carefully from the skin, or gently rubbed with a sheet of paper, which is then peeled away. If removed too quickly, the caul can leave wounds on the infant’s flesh at the attachment points, which may leave permanent scars.” – Wikipedia

Afterwards, Valerie put TaeRi on her, rubbed the baby down and did some gentle spanking on TaeRi’s back to help dislodge any more mucus or fluids. Ryan covered them with a towel and together, they waited for the ambulance on an otherwise uneventful rainy Wednesday morning.

While waiting for ambulance:
After the birth of their daughter, Valerie asked Ryan to send her to Mt. Elizabeth Hospital as she thought the ambulance might take too long. Ryan drove her. While they were on the road opposite their flat, Ryan suddenly came to his senses and said, “No, we are going back to wait for the ambulance. They have the necessary equipments should any unforeseeable complications happens.” He was right on that! Thumbs up for thinking straight, my son! The ambulance came within 5 minutes of their distress call. That was fast response from SCDF! However, they can only send Valerie to a government hospital (*KK Hospital) and not the private acute hospital, Mt. Elizabeth (Novena) she had booked. The paramedics were helpful, a lady in the team said she had helped delivered one before but not experience one that is already born. They clipped the umbilical cord and Valerie told Ryan to do the honours of *”cutting the ribbon”; there’s a little miracle waiting to be presented to the world.

Valerie delivered the placenta in the ambulance. When Valerie arrived at the hospital, they rushed her to the delivery suite and the baby to a special ward for blood tests as baby was born in an unsanitary (non-sterile) environment. After that, it was a few hours before an accepting doctor treated her. She didn’t get to her ward until almost 3pm. Even when the boys and I arrived, we couldn’t register ourselves to visit her as the system have not registered her. In Singapore, government hospitals, including KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), have put in place a visitor registration system as part of the hospital’s continual efforts to enhance the safety and experience for patients. The system is easy to use, and visitors can register with valid identification card at the hospital, or online before arriving at the hospital (Register via Visitor Registration Online click here).

To cut the long story short, Ryan looked like he needed a week’s sleep while the newly unburdened mom couldn’t wait to get home! Valerie was seeking for early release and got her wish. The doctors have approved both mother and child to be discharged and they are coming home this evening (28th, after only one night at the hospital).

THANK YOU for all the well wishes and prayers from our families and friends!

“KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (abbreviation: KKH), formerly known as “Kandang Kerbau Hospital”, is the largest hospital specialising in healthcare for women and children in Singapore. From its humble beginnings as a small general hospital in 1858 to a 30-bed maternity hospital in 1924, KKH has grown into an 830-bed hospital providing obstetric and gynaecology, neonatology and paediatric services. Often affectionally referred to as “KK” amongst locals, it is the birthplace of a sizeable proportion of Singaporeans, delivering over half of total newborns in the country as early as 1938.

In 1966, the hospital entered the Guinness Book of Records for delivering the highest number of newborns within a single maternity facility for that year, and it continued to hold on to this record for a full decade, delivering 85% of the population.

In 1997, the hospital moved to its present site. In 2003, the old premises was marked as a historical site by the National Heritage Board, a tribute to an institution that has been the birthplace of over 1.2 million Singaporeans since its inception.

While the hospital started as one catering to health care for women, mainly for gynaecology and obstetrics, it has since expanded its role. The paediatrics department was added for the care of the babies after delivery, but over the years it expanded into a full paediatric service, treating younger patients for all kinds of illnesses up to teenage. An offshoot, the neonatology service, was then added. Thus the expanded role of the hospital warranted a renaming to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.” – Wikipedia

*Symbolism of Cutting The Ribbon: A new business uses a Ribbon Cutting ceremony to show the public that it is open for business. A ribbon can be stretched across an entryway to signify that what is behind the ribbon is waiting to be presented.

I was the one who suggested Avery for TaeRi’s first name as it means “counsel, sage and wise”. I’m glad Ryan and Valerie decided to name her that.

Avery Rose Kwak Taeri 곽태리 was born under very extreme circumstances! You know she’s a fighter!

In the car on her way home.

Indeed, Nothing Beats How My Korean Drama Princess Enters The World!

Happy bonding! 🙂

Read yesterday’s article “SURPRISE! I’M TAERI 태리 :)” by clicking here.

Ryan’s encounter is also featured in Young Parents, to read the article click here.

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