It’s been a long while, hasn’t it? Let me end my hiatus (hopefully!) with my birth story and an invitation I designed during my confinement.
The arrival of little Umar Rasyideen was a quick one. During our routine check up on 7 June 2017 (39 weeks), Dr Anupriya (covering my gynae, Dr Citra) checked on my dilation and swept my membranes. It hurt so much that I had to go to the toilet to ease the pain under cold running water. From then on, I had light tinge of red discharge and experienced mild contractions, which were similar to period cramps, till the next morning. Contraction check: Every 15 mins, lasting for 15 sec
Contractions got slightly more intense and my discharge got a lot more bloody after brunch on 8 June 2017. Husband and I decided to go for a walk after dzuhr. We spent two hours walking, stopping, swaying and squatting. During that time, we managed to get lunch and collect Umar’s blanket from the post office. Contraction check: Every 5-10 mins, lasting for 45 sec
I went home to a bloody show. After changing, I decided to take a nap because hey, girl needs all the energy to push later. However, the moment I was flat on the couch, I had a contraction and a kick at the same time. I felt a little pop, and my water bag started leaking. I went to check and alhamdulillah, fluid’s clear. I stopped wearing pants afterwards as I was leaking continuously and all my pants were soaked. So anyway, instead of taking a nap, I told my husband to search for a Chammak Challo zumba video on YouTube for me to dance to. I danced for an hour and stopped when I felt the need to lie down. Contraction check: Every 3-5 mins, lasting for 45-60 sec
I didn’t manage to lie down. I was on all fours for two hours, demanding hip squeeze from the husband every time a contraction kicked in. I even flipped when he was gone for a while only to realise later that he was trying to break his fast as quick as he could without disrupting our birth plan. What. A. Darling. MasyAllah. Contraction check: Every 2 mins, lasting for 1 min
Between 8-9 PM, my parents, brother and in-laws came to check in on us. It worried the whole lot of them when I insisted to remain at home despite screaming through my contractions every two minutes. By 9.30 PM, my mother had enough of it and told me to change into proper clothes. I negotiated for a good hot bath. It was the best thing to do at the time. I slipped into my PJs and instant scarf, and we were on our way. Contraction check: No time to recover from the one before when the new one hits
In my Uber ride, I couldn’t sit. I was on all fours again. I felt my baby dropped further and the pain was out of this world. I knew by then I was in transition (8-10 cm dilation). In labour, this is known to be the most challenging stage, physically and emotionally – tired of managing the pain, on the brink of giving up and begging for medications.
Once we arrived at NUH, I felt the urge to poop and I knew I still couldn’t sit, so I insisted to walk all the way to the delivery suite. We stopped several times to breathe, sway side to side and managed my contractions. Once we were in (time check: 10 PM), I was told to change into the hospital gown and pee. After that, my job was to lay still as they tried to trace his heartbeat and check on how strong my contractions were. With me in transition, there was no such thing as laying still. I was on the bed, on my knees, and hugging the head board. When I calmed down, a resident doctor came in to check on how much I’ve dilated. During the vaginal examination (VE), I had another contraction. She turned around and announced to the room that I was only 5 cm dilated. Imagine my horror and disappointment after all the hard work we’ve put in to manage the pain naturally.
I turned to my husband and begged him for epidural. I haven’t slept since 5 AM, and I needed the energy to push. He informed the nurse. Two of them returned to put me on the laughing gas. Being well informed of my birth plan that limited VEs up to three times only, the sister spoke to me softly, telling me how it was part of their protocol to perform another one before administering the epidural. I was a lot calmer by then so I said okay. Her VE was fast and painless. Her next few words were like music to my ears – No use for epidural now. You’re fully dilated.
SEE!? I KNEW I WAS ON THE RIGHT TRACK. UGH.
So anyway, they called Dr Anupriya to come in. Woman drove to the hospital in seven minutes for me, which pretty much broke her record. God bless her. Once she was in the room with us, she told me that I could start pushing. I was slightly worried because I was not in my ideal birthing position, what with my legs up in the stirrups and butt close to the edge. I wanted to give birth squatting or on the birthing stool, and not go against gravity. However, after three pushes in that lithotomy position, Umar slid out of me at 11.01 PM, weighing 2.585 kg. Knowing that I didn’t want an episiotomy, Dr Anupriya did not cut me. I only had superficial tears, alhamdulillah. As stated in my birth plan, she also allowed delayed cord clamping for Umar to benefit from it, did not force my placenta out and simply waited for it.
From the strength and patience to manage the pain naturally to the support of my husband and family, and a smooth delivery.. Alhamdulillah, alhamdullilah, alhamdulillah, I could not be happier. If you ask me, the hardest and most painful part would be going through the transition phase, and the best and easiest part would be the baby sliding out of me. Alhamdulillah.
Will I want to go through this again? YES, insyAllah.
During my confinement, we planned to throw a baby shower for Umar. While he was taking his nap, I stayed up and took the chance to design the invitation for him. Blue hues and party banners were my inspiration then. To those who came, thank you so much for gracing our event.
Following the birth of my son were the toughest and darkest days of my life. While I managed to snap out of it after many months, memories of it still hang over me like a dark cloud on some days. I could not have come this far without my faith in the One as well as those who chose to stay by my side. You know who you are. Thank you. ❤