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Proud parents names - Alicia & Mark Panday
Babys name - William Thomas Horatio Panday
Date of Birth - 8/10/2000
Time of Birth - 10.44am
Weight - 7lbs
Place of birth - The Matilda Hospital, Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
Email -

I decided to work as long as possible into my pregnancy as here in Hong Kong we only get 10 weeks maternity leave. So if, like most people, you take 2 weeks off before your due date and then your baby arrives late, you might only get 8 weeks to bond, before having to return to work. As I was fit and feeling relatively well, apart from looking like a whale, I decided to carry on working until my due date - October 13, and you guessed it, it was a Friday. Well, as it happened, I didn't have to work up until then because on the morning of Sunday October 8 I woke at around 4.45am feeling really hungry, struggled out of bed and made my way to the kitchen. I opened the fridge and starting eating the contents - dried mango, cheese, crackers - loaded up a big plate grabbed a bottle of water and headed to the living room to watch some TV. I was up and didn't feel like going back to sleep. I finished off the food and half the 2 litre bottle of water and watched a rugby match between Harlequins and someone - very exciting. After all the water I'd drunk I needed to go the toilet and noticed that I had some blood stained discharge (yuk!). I didn't quite know what to make of this, but didn't have to wait long before the contractions started! They were nothing much at first, and very low down, similar to period pains. This carried on for half an hour. During this time I double checked the hospital bag and walked around the flat, singing! Poor neighbours - remember this was a Sunday morning around 5.30am. At 6am I woke my husband up to tell what was happening, he suggested taking a bath, which I thought was a good idea. I had a lovely deep lavender bath which I managed to sit in for 50 mins, again singing at the top of my voice, "You are my sun-shine my only sun-shine." During this time the contractions continued getting closer together, now they were just 15-20 mins apart. We phoned the hospital after I got out of the bath just to let them know that I was in labour, and the midwife told me to stay at home as first labours usually last around 12-16 hours. Little did they know! She also recommended that I have some breakfast, toast and a cup of tea and use a hot water bottle to ease the pain - but whilst I was on the phone to her my contractions started speeding up and getting more painful, and I was only on the phone to her for 15 minutes max. I ordered my hubby into action: tea, toast and hot water bottle, but by the time he returned I could hardly stand the pain. I tried to eat the toast but felt sick however I would recommend the hot water bottle - it really worked.

We decided to head up to the hospital, we don't have a car so hubby went to catch a cab with the bag and I plodded on behind. Had another contraction whilst waiting for a cab and then headed up the hill to the private hospital - The Matilda - which is about a 30-40 minute journey - thankfully it was a Sunday morning so the traffic was very light. I then had several more contractions on the way - the taxi driver was looking very nervous!

Arrived at the hospital at 8.15 am to be greeted by a lovely midwife, we were taken to a private room when I suddenly needed the toilet. She helped me into the bathroom and I was surprised to find I was bleeding, but she told me not to worry so I didn't. I still have no idea what this was! They monitored me for 15 minutes and she confirmed I was in labour then I had an internal and was told I was 5cm - wow, after just 2 ½ hours! I started walking around but was finding it more and more difficult, and was offered gas & air which I accepted. But I also practiced my breathing exercises from yoga. I had kept up with my yoga all through the pregnancy and now was the time to found out if I'd learnt anything. I tried several positions, standing, sitting but found it more comfortable lying on the bed, which is supposed to slow things down. In my case it didn't, and within the hour I felt the need to push. I was wheeled in to the labour room - my first time in a wheel chair - boy, did I feel silly. My doctor arrived at 9.30am and said I had to hurry up because he wanted to get home to watch the Grand Prix! By the way in Hong Kong your doctor usually delivers the baby - for which you pay an arm and a leg but you feel like royalty. He examined me - I was 8cm - and he then broke my waters, which I have to say was lovely - warm water gushing down your legs - then the pain kicked in. The contractions were coming thick and fast and before I knew it, it WAS time to push. I pushed for 20 minutes, but the baby's head was too big and I need an episiotomy, which I was trying to avoid. Well, never mind, and then out he came. It felt wonderful to be able to feel him sliding out and what a relief.

William was born at 10.44am on Sunday October 8, he weighed exactly 7lbs and measured 50cm.

Life after Birth -
William has made such a difference to our lives already; he's such a happy little boy. He's now 10 months old and a whopping 25lbs and 78cm - we're now planning number 2 and hoping that the labour will be just as brief.

What Father says -
Alicia coped so well with labour and is now turning into a wonderful mother - I've very proud of them both.


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