This is indeed the first entry of this blog, Alhamdulillah.
Honestly, I was thinking of where and how to start and it clicked to me that probably I should start with my personal birth stories. That way, it would be a good platform of me introducing why I am taking up the AMANI Birth Childbirth Educator training and what I wish to convey to all mothers and mothers to be, InshaAllah.
Do take note however, that even though I delivered both my daughters vaginally, both deliveries were not all natural/gentle birthings. InshaAllah, I will discuss on various topics/issues with regards to my birthing experiences in following posts.
Overall, my first pregnancy was a healthy one except I had two episodes of bleeding during 6 weeks gestation and 8 weeks gestation. Both bleeding episodes lasted for a week with bright red to gradually brownish blood. It was diagnosed as threatened miscarriage but Alhamdulillah, the pregnancy survived!
I was adviced bed rest during the bleeding episodes and was also given some hormonal medication (Duphaston). I took the medications but didn't manage to get complete bed rest because I had to attend my classes and hospital bedside teachings, but at home, Hubby made sure I got ample bed rest (he took care of our meals and household chores). He also carried my to the bedroom (our bedroom was upstairs and I was adviced not to climb stairs). Luckily, I was still lightweight at that time! :-)
Honestly, I will want to look further into bed rest during bleeding in early pregnancy. I have heard so much of it, but have not came accross a study which really proves it's efficacy. Hopefully I will have time to look it up soon, InshaAllah..
Moving on to my labour story..
On a Friday night, 16/5/2008 (when my baby was 39 weeks 2 days gestation)..while I was watching television at around 8pm..felt my back aching and the kind of pain when my menses was going to come..
Hesitated to call hubby as he was in Tesco, doing some groceries shopping. Anyway, the pain was gradually intensifying but still torelable..and I decided to call him as I was alone and also quite scared :-)
He came back immediately after receiving my call and we went to my dear OBGYN, the loud but kind lady doctor.
Alhamdulillah..after a V.E, she said I was 1cm open, and my cervix was favourable. She gave us two options. First was to go back home, rest, let labour progress naturally and get admitted to hospital when contractions started or intensified (which could take a few hours to a few days according to her). Second option was to get admitted to hospital tonight, and augment the labour if it did not show any signs of progress by tomorrow morning.
Hubby left the decision to me, and I asked, " if I chose the second option, my baby would be delivered by tomorrow right?" My OBGYN said "Yes"..So I agreed for the second option. My OBGYN then asked me to have a good dinner and get myself admitted by tonight.
Let me explain on why I chose the second option, which is to augment the labour. Hubby and me were final year medical students at that moment. In our institution, there was no such thing as "maternity leave". And there was a certain limit of attendance of which we have to achieve to be able to sit for our exams. It so happens that it was a Friday night and also a start of 2 week term break. So I thought, the timing was right, because if I delivered the next day, I could at least have 2 weeks of break and fully spend time with my baby for 2 weeks to get some nesting in time and establish breastfeeding. At 38 weeks of pregnancy, hubby and me had saved up to hire a helper to help take care of the baby while we were attending classes. So I thought, two weeks was a short but at least some ample time for me to also get the helper familiarized with the baby before I start classes. Therefore, I chose the second option. Might not be the wisest choice, but God knows at that moment, it did really seem like the right choice..
Back to the labour story..
So my hubby asked what I wanted to eat, and I said `Lets go eat TOMYAM' . So we had dinner at a restaurant..and headed home to shower and bring along the `BUNGA KEMBANG FATIMA' which my mother in law brought from Mecca (a kind of flower which blooms when you soak it in water..Supposed to help facilitate labour).
-checked in at midnight
-7.00 a.m next morning, V.E showed still no improvemt in cervix dilatation..there were contractions but mild and very far apart..so we decided to augment using pitocin. I was also strapped up with the fetal monitoring machine, and it did feel very restrictive and uncomfortable. However, I did not mind at that moment because I was too nervous to walk about :-)
|A snapshot of our labor room. Alhamdulillah, I didnt' have to give birth lying on my back with legs hanging in the air.|
-7.30 a.m..I was on pitocin infusion..and contractions started becoming stronger..my gynae already warned she didn't want me on epidural or painkillers (saying that it would make me lazy to push later because I didn't feel pain)
-12 p.m..still tolerating the pain..only 3cm open..hubby got me lunch (rice, chicken and vege) and convinced me to eat, saying I need energy to push later..he fed me lunch and I actually finished the whole plate.
-1:00 p.m..waterbag broke..gush came the amniotic fluid..felt like a balloon popping in my tummy..
at that point I was begging for painkillers, so the midwife came to my aid and gave me a jab of pethidine at the gluteal region..
-Slept....hearing my hubby's voice reciting Yassin beside me..I literally though I was dead and asked him "Am I alive?" He just comforted me..and he reminded me to keep on salawat.
-4:00 p.m..V.E showed 6cm dilated..begged for another jab of painkiller..all was fuzzy during that time..was just sleeping and waking up time to time in pain..
-6.30pm...heard my loud gynae's voice waking me up..she said I was ready to push..
My hubby said that I was actually smiling when I heard that..Of course !..I was happy that it was end of the journey of labor..Alhamdulillah, my OBGYN told my hubby to support by back and thought me the sitting squatting position..She thought me how to wait until contraction started, take some deep breathes and when I am ready, to take a long deep breath and push as long as I can while holding my breath..Alhamdulillah, I was concious enough to co-operate and I was ready to strive till the end..
I felt my OBGYN do an episiotomy but did not feel any pain from it at that moment. I presume it was a compression episiotomy which she did during crowning..
Alhamdulillah, after 3 pushes,and at 6:48p.m..I heard my baby's cry and all the pain went away..My husband caught her himself and she came out smiling with eyes open according to him, MashaAllah!
A healthy 2.65kg baby girl!
The birthing staff did put my baby on my chest but I was too weak to even hold my baby..I think we managed to achieve some delayed cord clamping because Hubby was busy snapping photos of my little girl and the staff let him do it before proceeding to cut the cord, Alhamdulillah! You may see the photo with the vernix and fresh cord, Subhanallah!
Moments later, I felt some blood gushing and placenta came out naturally Alhamdulillah..The OBGYN stitched my episiotomy while my baby got cleaned up and weighed.
After the stitching and fussing over me was done, I was pushed in a wheel chair from the delivery room to the ward room. On the way, I asked to stop by the nursery so I could hold my baby for a while. MashaAllah, she was all alert and smiles despite the pethidine! I held her for just a few seconds, but I was so dizzy and afraid of dropping her, so I put her back in the cot.
At the ward room, my mother attempted to feed me dinner, but I vomited out everything (probably because of the analgesics). I lied down for a while and when my relatives were back home, I asked for my baby at night (about 9 pm) and we had a quite moment just staring at each other and I attempted to nurse her, Alhamdulillah..MashaAllah, I can never forget that quiet moment, just the two of us..
Hubby came in a little while later, and he joined the bonding moment, just the three of us.
We got some rest and Alhamdulillah, was discharged the next morning..