at 2 months old (when i drafted this entry :P)
Anyway, I was overdue, after a week, I was starting to get pretty depressed, you know, they say, the longer the baby's in there, he might get some skin problem or the placenta might stop functioning etc, plus, Ayah was gonna be going back to Malaysia in about a week, so of course, I was worried.
we went to check out the hospital about a week before the due date. Just in case mak and ayah had to go there on their own (in which case, they eventually had to quite a number of times)
Then, on the 8th day, I went to the gynae, turned out that the baby's ok, so i tried to stay positive. The next day, while sorting out the luggage for my dad, I felt like... erm, no gush of water, just a tad heavier than a regular flow of Auntie Flo. But it happened for a split second, so I figured... takde pape kot. Went to the toilet for a number one and there it was, seketul mucus plug... so maybe my water had really broken.
Told mom about it, but still wasnt sure. So went about my business, then suddenly, it happened again, again, no color, no smell, just clear water. Told mom that I was going to the hospital, she wanted to come along. Ayah and Alem stayed behind just in case it was a false alarm. So we took the bus, nasib it was raining, so if it came in a gush pon, nobody would guess, kan?
At the hospital, they wanted to keep me there for observation. So mom went home, Ayah and Alem came and brought along my hospital bag.
So it started out pretty ok. I wasnt in pain, with nothing to do, I tried to go to sleep.
Then at around 11 or so, had to go to the toilet for a number 2, and i was thinking, wah, bijak betol! The body was getting prepared and berak siap2, and went back to sleep. Then at around 1am, I started feeling the contractions. It was bearable for the first couple of hours, but I wasnt sleepy, so I stayed awake. But of course, it got stronger and more painful with each contraction, the nurse offered some kind of painkiller but I refused to take any, konon nak tunjuk macho la. But not long after, it got so bad that it wasnt even possible to catch some sleep in between contractions anymore, even though they were around 10 minutes apart.
Then suddenly, at around 4am, I started to felt nauseous with each contraction. First one, bole tahan, second one, terbangun terduduk, third one, buekkk, out came everything that I ate earlier that evening. Melompat my roomate bukak lampu and passed me the kidney dish, and think she also called the nurse for me. Good thing, I vomited on the blanket, so all I did was lipat2 blanket and passed it to the nurse and this time I asked
for the painkiller, that came in a form of an injection.
So that kinda helped, and i managed to catch some shuteye for an hour or two, before the effects wore off an hour or two later. So again, at around 7, I asked for more painkiller, sadly, they refused to give me any, so tahan la sakit contraction sorg2. Not long after that, 2 nurses came, packed my bag and told me that I should go to the delivery room. Aiks, cepatnya, just like that je eh?
So ikut je la, delivery room was quite cool. It's big with a small tub, a birth ball, a cd player and macam2 lagi kot, tp tak perasan sgt sbb tgh sakit.
A interned housewife was assigned to me and she was extremely helpful. She showed me how to bend your back to reduce the pain. She also suggested that I use the ball. Ball was ok, but it didnt help much. Then she suggested that I go into the tub to ease the pain, I did and at that time, dah terbayang2 giving birth the in tub, keluar2 sure baby bersih je terus.
i only had a small piece of bread in the morning, and that was it. Takot muntah punya pasal. They told me, takkanla, nope, i didnt believe them.
me chilling out in the tub
Tapi after an hour or so, the contractions became less regular, so kena la pulak keluar tub. Tp okla, kurang sakit, dapat la relax2. Lunch pon dah sampai, but because I was super afraid that I might throw up again, I let Alem eat it, tapi tak habis pon sebab tak sedap!
The next couple of hours went pretty ok. Contractions were beareable, but werent regular. We even tinkered with their computer, found that two other delivery rooms were in used. One was by a 16-year-old girl, skali bukak pintu, we could hear her screaming her lungs out! MENGGERUNKAN and I prayed tht i wouldnt scream as loud.
Anyway, lepak punya lepak, think at around 4 or so, they came and said that they needed to get things moving (induce la tu). So they connected me to the drip thing containing oxytocin kot and that's when the contractions started to get stronger. Mula2 tahan dan tahan dan tahan, so they increased the dose and increased lagi dan increased lagi... then i said, dah tak tahan. They offered the epi and I gladly accepted.
They said tunggu, they had to get the anesthetist to explain some stuff and i needed to sign a letter. So i waited, he came and started explaining. You know, when you're pain like that, apa pon tak dengar. I only heard what I wanted to hear, "blablabla, the risks are very low, blablabla, it rarely happens, blablabla..."and i was like, give me the pen already! (which i didnt do la 'cos we asians are just polite like tht).
So he injected it somewhere around the spine and i waited for a miracle.
Some 20 minutes later, and i was still waiting. Tak hilang pon sakit! But I still waited. Tired of waiting, told them to increase the dose. So they said, but they could give a muscle relaxer, just give them a second. So tahan la sakit. By this time, i could hardly open my eyes and each time a contraction was about to strike, i'd moan so that alem would start massaging my back.
About an hour later, i asked alem when they would be giving me the muscle relaxer. To my surprise, he said, dah masuk dalam drip dah. Hah? Takde effect pon. Adoi... Dah enough. I begged them to give me mo epi, serious sakit ni! The american doctor (complete with green uniform-- terus teringat House M.D.) asked me, on a scale of 1-10, how painful was it? I said "10!". (Bagus dia ada, senang nak communicate, takyah la susah payah nak rephrase some terms). And nasib diorg dengar cakap dia walopon dia cume visiting je.
So they increased the epi dose, and i waited for the pain to subside. Tunggu punya tunggu, tak hilang gak! Adusss... And when the doctor checked the opening, it was still 5cm. Berejam2 tungguh, still 5cm? It was 5cm a couple of hours ago. Then came more bad news, they had given everything to help with the pain, they had nothing else to offer, so tahan jela sakit sampai fully dilated... sedih!
So tahan and tahan, occasionally, they'd leave me with alem mengurut. At one time, 4-5 of them came in a rush 'cause they detected that the baby's heartbeat was slowing down. Else, it was just me with alem mengurut my back berejam2 sampai terlentok kepala dia atas katil. The oxytocin was at all time high, almost at the maximum level, and i was suffering sampai mata tertutup, cakap tak keluar suara...
Several hours later, think it was around 8-9pm,they came to check the opening again. It was 8cm. Finally! Some progress! TAPI bila bidan seluk, she found that the baby's head was not in position. In fact, she could feel it moving. Then, to confirm, the doctor did a scan, and we could clearly see it turning left and right, left and right. Okay! Now let's get it in position. They told me to go down on all four with my butt up in the air sambil goyang2 punggung. Teruk tu nak buat tgh2 sakit camtu. So alem and the midwife helped goyang2 my punggung sampai penat.
About an hour or so later, they came to check again, baby's head was almost there but not quite, so my midwife got another midwife to come and help. They each held my legs up and push them in and out, in and out. Then I could hear my midwife say, that if this fails, they'd have to go for c-sec. In my mind, i was thinking, "After almost a day in active labor, now you're suggesting c-sec?!"
Tapi, tetiba (ok, some time passed, but I barely noticed), about 5-6 people were around me. The widwife was telling me to start pushing when the next contraction is about to come. Eh, macam tu je, takde warning apa pun?
Oh, ok. So they started encouraging me to push. First contraction, pusssh! Nothing. Second, puusssshh, nothing. Third contraction, puuuuushhhh. Then, they said, you can just push now, no need to wait for the contraction to come.
Oh, ok, sure, like I wasnt? Seriously, i would've pushed harder if i wasnt as exhausted as I was then. But worried that my baby might have a conehead. I took a deep breath, and quickly puuuuuuuusssshhhhhhed! At this time, they could already see his head. Everybody was getting excited.
The midwives kept telling me to push, the american doctor was giving me words of encouragement (you know the typical, "you're doing great, you're almost there.... teringat film amerika), alem was reciting some ayats while telling me to push harder and that it should be over once he was out. Kecohnya, macam pasar borong!
And so I pppppuuuushhhhhhhhhhed! My midwife, with one hand pushed against the wall and one pushing my stomach from the upper part of my body, also puuuuuuussssshhhed and then, they suddenly, told me to stop pushing. Right at that moment, I could feel something squirming 'over there' and,
Alhamdullillahhhhhhhh, at 10:47 pm, after almost 20 hours in labor, around 36 hours of no sleep, and a day of no food, he was finally out... Alem got the honor the cut his umbilical cord, and they put him on my chest. But my God, i was SO exhausted at that time I didnt have the strengh to even hold him. So he just lay there until i dont know... because I sorta passed out.
I could hear them telling alem that it'd take an hour max for the placenta to come out, and alem told them that we wanted it... Then, all of a sudden, my stomach was starting to hurt. I opened my eyes and found the midwife practically kneading it. Apparently, the placenta would not come out. They waited, nothing. Then, stuck needles all over my tummy (acupuncture la tu), nothing (and I was out that whole time). So, they kneaded it and pulled it out. Sakitnyaaaaa easily could match sakit beranak, no kidding!
And finally the placenta came out, BUT they kinda tore it, sbb when they held it in front of me, nampak sgt rabak. And it was around this time, the delivery room kecoh, everybody was running around. Two older male doctors came. I saw my doctor wearing the mask and presumably stitched something. Alem wanted to look, they forbid him.
But I guessed the stiches wasnt enough. Because the male doctor took one at look at it, told me that the top of my placenta was bleeding and ordered them to take me to the operating theater asap. So kelam-kabut la sume orang moving me onto the moving strecther, and at that time, i realized my baby was no longer with me.
all that was left of me in the delivery room
As I was being moved out of the room, i turned to the left and only saw alem's back. He was facing the window and I assume, was also mengazankan adel, sayu lak rasa not being able to look at their faces... Especially when I didnt really know what they were gonna do to me. And all I could think about was... "what if this is it?", "what if there's no more tomorrow?" Tetiba je, i saw flashes of Lagenda Budak Setan, you know, the wife dies during childbirth... of all things, eh? Cerita melayu pulak tu! Funny la how the mind works.
Anyway, i dont remember much of what took place at the operating room. Just remember repeatedly asking the american doctor if they were gonna put me under or what? She didnt say anything (tak tau la tu), i appreciate that she accompanied me to the operating room. There, I just remember seeing the aenestician's face (again! Was he there the whole day or what) and then I was out.
Sedar2, somebody was telling me that they've managed to stop the bleeding and then I passed out again. Sedar2 second time, we were at the hallway. The nurse was telling Alem that he couldnt stay for the night, but he could follow her to check on our son before going home. So he came to me, kissed me goodnite and left.
Again, tak tau kenapa, rasa sayu lagi. Anak belum jumpa, suami dah nak balik, sakit tak ingat, penat tak terkata. But as I was extremely tired, sayu kejap je la. Sampai bilik, i pretty much passed out until a nurse came to clean me at 3 in the morning.
so I guess it was alem that he saw first, eh? Or maybe he saw me when they put him on my chest, but too bad I was too exhausted to even open my eyes then.
the next morning (with my hiding my humongous tummy)
In short, my experience was, I would say, hmmm... wasnt easy. My body wasnt very cooperative that they to induce me at almost the maximum dose for hours, in addition, I lost a lot of blood that left me with a low blod pressure for days (with the effects being pening2 lalat and mengantuk semacam), but I took those tablets day and night and mom cooked some good food to increase my platelets and I managed to avoid having to go thru a blood transfusion.
And when they say beranak memenatkan and the lady needs to rest, trust me, it's true. Penattt sangat that I could bare talk the next morning, and I'm not one to easily succumb to exhaustion. And the pain, it lingered for days... but as cliche as this may sound, looking at my baby today, how he's growing and progressing, recognising faces, sights and sound, and how he dependent he is on me and how that somehow gives me a sense of importance, all that pain is fast becoming a distant memory...
at about 3 weeks old
Happy 4th month birthday, Adel!!!