aLife Singapore | You’re pregnant. Well done!
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07 Apr You’re pregnant. Well done!

“You’re pregnant. Well done!” These were the words uttered by my gynaec when I went for a check-up on 29 July 2004.

My husband and I could not believe our ears. Although my period was late for two weeks, I being pregnant was the last thought on our minds. My period was also late for two weeks the previous month but to our great disappointment, I was not pregnant. Instead, it was discovered that I had some fibroids in my womb.

I being a SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) patient together with the discovery of the fibroids in my womb only decrease the chances of me getting pregnant. Hence, we were ecstatic to discover that I was pregnant the following month.

My husband in particular wore a silly smile over his face for the entire day after we left my gynaec’s clinic. In fact he was very meticulous and sensitive to all my needs throughout my entire pregnancy. I guess this is mainly due to me being a SLE patient. I had to be extremely careful especially in my first trimester as the risk of miscarriage for SLE patients is much greater than other women.

However, I was fortunate to have suffered not much discomfort throughout my entire pregnancy. I did not have any “morning sickness” and had no aversions to any kind of food. The only complaint I had was the extreme itch I had due to the change of the hormones in my body.

On the other hand, because of my special condition, I had to go through the hassle of going to my gynaec’s clinic once a week for an injection for the first 5 months of my pregnancy. The injection was to help the growth of the foetus in me.

My pregnancy was relatively smooth-sailing until my 30th week. I started to experience extreme swelling that was worse than the normal swelling that pregnant women face. My blood pressure was also rising. My gynaec prescribed some medication with the hope of controlling my blood pressure. However, he did warn me that I would most likely have to deliver my baby early by Caesarean section. Nevertheless he would try to delay it for as long as possible so that the baby would be big enough when she comes out.

Two days before the Chinese New Year of 2005 when I was 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I went for my weekly check-up at my gynaec’s. That day my blood pressure was dangerously high. I was admitted into hospital immediately so that my blood pressure could be monitored. Fortunately, my blood pressure went down and I could be discharged the next day.

However, on the third day of Chinese New Day when I went for my regular check-up with the doctor in charge of my SLE condition, my blood pressure was up again. As my gynaec’s clinic was closed that day, my doctor contacted my gynaec through the after office hours number. My gynaec instructed me to go straight to the labour ward of Gleneagles Hospital immediately. I had to deliver my baby as soon as possible. I was 34 weeks and 2 days pregnant then.

The first time I saw my baby, she was in the neo-natal intensive unit. She was healthy but she had problems sucking on her own. Tears whelmed in my eyes when I first saw her. She was so tiny and fragile looking. She weighed only 2.03kg. Thankfully, after 3 days she was transferred to the outside nursery where she stayed for 2 more days and then could be discharged. But we had her remain in the hospital for 10 more days as she was so tiny and my husband and I think that it was better for her to build up her strength before she comes home.

Now, when I look back to my pregnancy, I think it was a wonderful experience and I know I am very fortunate to be able to deliver my daughter safe and sound without any problems. The greatest credit should go to my gynaec, Dr Peter Chew from Gleneagles Medical Centre and my doctor who monitors my SLE condition, Dr Leong Kai Pang from Tan Tock Seng Hospital. It was all thanks to them that now my husband and I had a healthy baby girl to love.

June 2005

Editor’s Notes: aLife received this contribution in the form of a letter. We respect the writer’s wish to remain anonymous. aLife thanks the author for sharing her experience and wish her and her family all the best in life.

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