From The Straits Times    |

Kiss92 deejay Charmaine Yee had a few scares before she delivered a baby girl last Tuesday.

The baby, named Mila Paredes, is Yee’s first child with her husband, Colombia-born technology entrepreneur Camilo Paredes, 38. The couple married in February.

Yee, 35, was put on a contraction drip and had an epidural to induce labour after checking into Thomson Medical hospital. But the baby’s heart rate fell every time the contraction drip dosage was increased.
After 10 hours, the couple decided to follow their gynaecologist Janice Tung’s advice to go for an emergency caesarean section.

“Our gynaecologist said that there was no way we would’ve been able to deliver naturally because the baby’s umbilical cord was wrapped all around her thighs and twice around her waist,” she says. “That explains why each time there was a contraction, and she was trying to push her way out, the umbilical cord was being tensed and her heart rate fell.”

Yee also had two false alarms before the delivery. “The first false alarm was while Camilo was playing beach volleyball and I thought my water broke. We were rushing to the hospital when my gynaecologist called me, asked a few questions and realised I probably just peed in my pants,” she says.

The second time was when she felt a sharp pain on the right side of her abdomen. After checking into Thomson Medical, she was sent home when the pain went away.

While both Yee and Mila are doing fine at home now, the deejay says the first few days as a mother have been “a roller coaster of emotions, from overjoyed to overwhelmed, gratitude and love”.

Yee and her husband decided to supplement breastfeeding with formula milk after the baby’s weight dropped by 10 per cent. “I felt like I had failed my first role as a mother. Thankfully, Camilo let me have a good cry, held me while I had my meltdown and reassured me I was doing great, recovering well, and we were doing the best we could.”

Yee says her husband has been very eager to jump into parenthood and share parenting duties. “Camilo has been the most supportive partner in this journey into parenthood,” she says. “He’s been a strong pillar of support mentally, emotionally and physically.”

Because of age and health concerns, Yee started freezing her eggs at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital in 2022 to increase her chances of getting pregnant.

When she was 25, she had to undergo emergency surgery to remove her left fallopian tube and ovary due to a 10cm ovarian dermoid cyst which had undergone torsion (twisting), resulting in a loss of blood flow to that ovary.

To her surprise, Mila was conceived naturally. Her name is derived from the Spanish word “milagro”, which means miracle. “Given the history of my fertility journey, she is truly a miracle,” Yee says.

The couple are still deciding on a Mandarin name for their child. “We have a few options given to us by ChatGPT, with some ideas of our own.”

This article was first published in The Straits Times.