Monday, September 9, 2013

My Labor Story. Part II

Just before going into the labor ward, the nurse asked if I need help with the pain. I just pandang dia, biar betul minah ni OF COURSE I need help!  So she gave me Ethonox. What it is:
Ethonox, or more commonly known as laughing gas is a gas that is used to give temporary pain relief during labour. It is a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. 
Ethonox is inhaled either through a mouth piece or a mask while the mother is having contractions. Ethonox eases the labour pains but does not take the pain away completely. You can have gas/air anytime you want in labour. All you need to do is bring the mask up to your face or put the mouthpiece between your lips and teeth. Keep it there as you breathe deeply and evenly. Continue to breathe deeply until you start to feel a little light headed and then take the mouthpiece/mask away from your face. It takes at least 30 seconds of breathing for ethonox to give you any benefit. Start breathing it in the second you feel a contraction start. If you wait till you are deep in contractions, the gas will take effect in between contractions. 
Ethonox has no side effects on the baby. It is also compatible with other drugs and there is no residual effect to hamper other methods of pain relief. [Source]

Let me tell you I was NOT laughing. Ethonox is such a scam, takde beza langsung! I might just have been inhaling pure oxygen because it had no effect on me whatsoever, I didn't even feel light headed or pening2! I guess it might work for some people, but not on me. It just made me angry.

Ok I have a confession to make. When I was pregnant, I decided I would have an all-natural childbirth. No drugs, no pain relief, nothing. Just childbirth the way nature intended it to be.

Yeah right Mawar.

Tak sampai berapa minit sampai hospital I was already asking the nurse for an Epidural. Yes I shamefully admit, I asked for an Epi. I have read about the risks, I read about how many women who get an Epidural end up delivering via C-sect, the back pain and headaches post-delivery, etc etc. Walaupun dah tabahkan diri sebelum labor untuk tak nak ambik apa2 pain relief pun, sepandai2 tupai melompat akhirnya jatuh ke tanah juga. Ye saya lah tupai itu.

So the nurse told me, okay, kalau nak Epidural kene tunggu the anesthesiologist. He was busy at the moment, so they would have to page him to come and administer the drug. So I pun tunggu lah. Continue menahan sakit. They sat me down on a wheelchair and wheeled me into the labor room.

The labor room was big, and it was private. Not just anyone boleh masuk keluar, even my family members  nak masuk the midwives would check with me first whether I was comfortable to have them in. I really appreciated that. I didn't want just anyone, even family, to see me at my most vulnerable moments. The room had its own private toilet/bathroom, it was big and had a big tub macam jacuzzi untuk water birth. I did ask for a water birth but I was already too far into labor to have it. Oh well, next time maybe.

At first it was just me, Faiq and my MIL. My mum belum sampai hospital lagi masa tu. So it was the two of them who helped me through that stage of labor. The midwives recorded every contraction I had. Everytime a contraction hit me, I would put my arms around Faiq's shoulders and just let my body split into pieces (that's what it felt like anyway) and he would hold me up. Kadang2 tukar buat dekat my MIL pulak. This happened every 4 minutes, and soon every 3 minutes. It means that every 4 or 3 minutes I was asking the midwives can I please have the Epidural now?? The answer was always the same, that they have called the anesthesiologist and he would come as soon as he was done with another patient.

Masa tu tak baring atas katil pun. Berdiri atau berjalan je. I rasa macam baring lagi sakit and susah je. Ada two sofas at the side of the room so sometimes I used the sofas to sit/stand/squat in many awkward positons. I came to the hospital wearing a long sleeved shirt, but the midwives suggested I pakai short sleeve tshirt sebab senang nak cucuk ubat ke apa. I didn't bring a tshirt with me, so Faiq took off the one he was wearing and gave it to me to wear. Dia pakai jacket je. So throughout labor I wore a Marvel Avengers tshirt. Haha!

At around 6am ish my mum arrived and joined me in the labor room. I was so relieved to see her. I cried a little while I hugged her through one of my contractions. I kept telling her over and over that I'm sorry because it breaks my heart to know that she went through this pain for me, 26 years ago. This bone-shattering, body-splitting pain was the price she paid to have me, a price I will spend the rest of my life never being able to pay back.

Please appreciate your mums. No matter how crazy she might make you or no matter how you don't get along with her. Tolonglah. Hargai dan sayangi ibu anda, because nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare to the pain she went through for you, and yet she will choose to go through it a million times more if she had to, just to bring you to life.

I told Mak, I need that Epidural Mak. Kaklong tak tahan sangat2. She looked at me with a face that was trying not to look judgmental because she knew she had to be supportive of me, but I know her too well. She was totally judging me for asking for an Epi. Takpe ah biar la Mak nak fikir apa, janji this pain would go away. Tunggu lagi. Still no anesthesiologist.

Soon after that the midwives asked me to get on the bed. Bukan untuk baring. Kepala katil tu dinaikkan, so I was in a position where I was on my knees on the bed and holding on to the bar at the head of the bed. So pusing pandang dinding belakang katil. I don't know if you can imagine it or not. It felt weird at first but it really helped pushing during a contraction, in that position.

My water bag burst not long after that. What I felt after that was MORE intense pressure on my cervix (if that was even possible, after everything that I was already feeling down there). Rasa macam nak kene teran sangat dah. One of the midwives gently asked me, "Feel like you're ready to push yet, love?".

With one hand holding on to the bed bar, and the other on Faiq's reassuring hand, I begin to push.

(continued in Part III)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Labor Story. Part I

Sunday. 11 August 2013. 

It was a few days after Raya. 4th day of Syawal, actually. 2 days before my estimated due date. My in laws were in Melbourne to celebrate Raya with us, and also to see the baby. Only, the baby didn't seem to be in a rush to see anyone. My in laws were due to fly back to Malaysia tomorrow, yet still no baby... diorang redha kalau tak dapat jumpa yet, nak buat macam mana kan? Tapi still sedih la, tak dapat jumpa cucu lagi until tak tau bila they would be in Melbourne next.

At this point I was like, "Ahh sure overdue one, but at least I get to choose a date to be induced right?". So that day while Faiq brought his parents and brother to the city for some last minute shopping, I went out for a heavy lunch with my parents and grandparents. Siap makan steak kalau tak salah.

That night, Faiq slept early as usual, sebab dia kerja the next day. I went to sleep about 11pm, after watching Prison Break online. Haha. Time ni both Faiq and I were on Prison Break marathons, almost every night tengok a new episode. We both love that show no matter how many times we've watched it. 

Monday. 12 August 2013.

Anyway, around 1:00am I terbangun, sakit perut nak gi toilet. After that, went back to bed. About 10 or 15 minutes later, sakit perut lagi. Pergi toilet lagi. Geram je rasa, sebab baru 2 jam tidur. In my head I was like, "Mesti the food that I ate masa lunch, menyesal sangat. Kan dah cirit birit." Lepas 4 kali pergi balik toilet macam tu, the pain got a bit worse. Then baru terfikir, OMG contractions kot? Kejut Faiq.

"Yang. Sakit perut lah. Dah 4 kali gi toilet buang air besar."

Mata dia still tutup. "You makan apa tengah hari tadi?"

"Steak. But I don't think ni sakit perut food poisoning la.. I think I'm getting contractions."

Terus mata dia terbeliak. "You sure? Nak gi hospital now tak?"

"Tak tau lah. Sakit perut lain macam. Call hospital dulu lah, see what they say."

He called the hospital, they have a 24 hour maternal healthcare emergency line where you can ask anything at all about your pregnancy or labor. He told the nurse, I think my wife's in labor. She asked how many minutes apart and if it is my first pregnancy. He said they're about 10 - 11 minutes apart, and yes first baby. 

Nurse tu suruh relax dulu kat rumah (RELAX?! That is the worst advice to give a woman in labor!) because baru 10 minutes apart, first baby would take HOURS of labour, maybe 10 hours or more, try get some rest dulu, take a warm bath, walk around. Come to the hospital only when contractions are 4 minutes apart or less. He said ok, thank you, while I tried to imagine 10 hours of being in constant pain. 

I told Faiq that we should time the contractions. So I whipped out my phone and opened up the Baby Bump app (used this throughout my 9 months, I just love this app) where there is a contraction timer. I tried to go to sleep, because if I really am in labor I need to restore some energy for later. After closing my eyes for a few minutes, it became imminent that sleep would be impossible. The pain that hit me every few minutes was too great to ignore while asleep.

I told Faiq to sleep, but he wanted to keep me company while I timed the contractions. Setiap kali datang sakit, tekan screen phone. Habis sakit, tekan balik. Masa awal2 start timing, it was about 12 minutes apart and lasting for 1 and a half minutes. Very quickly it became 7 minutes apart. Then 6 minutes. Then pergi toilet lagi, baru realized that my underwear was a bit bloody. The mucus plug had come out (this is what is called the "bloody show", literally). Okayyyy, I definitely was gonna have this baby soon.

At one point, I felt sooo nauseous. Loya teramat sangat, cepat2 pergi toilet and muntah. I've never muntah like that in my life, man. Even masa pregnant tak muntah macam tu. It was alot and it was all over the toilet. My sweet, sweet, husband cleaned it all up after I was done, even though I know the smell and sight of it made him nak termuntah jugak. Lepas tu I sempat Google, 'is vomiting a sign of labor?'. Yes it is. (I Google almost everything just to give myself peace of mind)

All I felt was pain. Sakit. Sakit gila. The pain makes me want to rebah my whole body on the ground, but at the same time rasa macam nak buang air besar. I stood up and walked around the room. I leaned on the wardrobe. Baring. Duduk. Diri balik. No matter what position I was in, every time a contraction hit, the pain was intense and I could not even open my eyes while it came.

At 3:50am, the contractions were coming almost every 4 minutes. I told Faiq, I tak tahan dah, we got to go to the hospital NOW. Faiq was in panic mode, he tried to keep it together but he was so gelabah... putting my hospital bag in the car pun dia macam blurr gila. By this time his parents and brother pun dah bangun and anxious. Sempat ke tak nak jumpa cucu and niece ni? Padahal they had to be at the airport at 11:00am. I didn't plan what to wear to the hospital, I just wore what I wore to bed. Sarung tudung bibik je. Selalunya Faiq sangat menyampah when I wear that tudung but this time he didn't even blink. I got in the car, and my MIL pun ikut sekali.

We reached the hospital about 4:45am. Sampai2 the emergency department, we had to wait like 5 minutes for the triage nurse to attend to me. I got upset, because whaddehell its the emergency department kenapa takde orang dekat counter?? 5 minutes felt like 5 hours to me, because my contractions were so bad and so near. I had a hard time standing up. When the nurse finally showed up, I went in and she checked my blood pressure while contraction after contraction hit me. She made me lie down to check my dilation and effacement. I was 4cm dilated, and fully effaced.

After checking baby's heartbeat with the fetal monitor, I was soon wheeled into the labor room.

(continued in Part II)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

If you're wondering, yes I have given birth. ;)

I saved this picture under "drafts" for a few weeks now. The title was supposed to be, "Natural Ways to Induce Labor" sebab masa tu dah 38, almost 39 weeks pregnant and I really thought I was going to be overdue. So gambar tu masa Faiq teman I pergi berjalan (4 kilometres ok!) sebab orang kata, untuk nak cepatkan bersalin, elok banyak berjalan.

In that post I was going to say, I dah try macam2 petua yang orang kata bagus untuk induce labor naturally. Makan bende pedas, banyak berjalan, massage, sex... semua tak menjadi. Time tu la. Pastu tak sempat publish pun post tu.

My EDD (estimated due date) was on 13 August, but my baby girl ikut Abah dia, sangatlah punctual rupanya, she arrived safely on the morning of the 12th August. Alhamdulillah. 39 weeks and 6 days. :) Skarang dah 24 days old!

She's sleeping on my chest now (tak nak tidur cara lain) so I'm typing with one hand which makes typing really awkward. Will write about my birth experience later!

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