Tuesday, January 31, 2012

[Labour Day - Part Two]

I get more and more nervous as they wheel me in into the OR. Everything is a blur as they half knock me out with a sedative. I'm a little nervous because the spinal is about to be done, and hubby was not inside the room yet. I keep asking the nurses when he can come in and they say only AFTER the epidural is done. Sigh. This is when I need him the most. There is a nurse who reminds me of Soefie and I keep telling myself - think of Soefie. Think happy thoughts. With that, after one contraction, I get the epi and soon I feel warm and fuzzy in the legs.

After some time F is finally by my side. He holds my hand and tells me not to worry because he is there for me. I feel relief and am grateful he is there.  I feel a lot of pushing in my abdomen and figure it's the drs trying to push the baby out. F looks over and I tell him not to in case he faints.  He continues to look over and in a while I realise it's because baby is out.  Dr says "Your baby is holding on to the cord." In my half dazed mind, I wonder which machine's cord he's holding on to.  Baby starts crying and it seems so near yet so distant. Was that my baby? Tears well up in Mr F's eyes and I know that H is out. Wow. So surreal.  I had requested for delayed cord clamping and dr honours my request. After awhile, not sure how long (hubby said a couple of mins) dr said baby is a little cold so they have to cut his cord. In my half dazed state I started worrying - oh dear, why is my baby cold. Is he ok? Dr then lifted H over the screen and showed me - here's your baby.  Alhamdulillah, he looks fine and his cry is very strong.  I'm not sure at which point Mr F left the room but he reassured me he'll be by my side when I was out.

The midwife, after wrapping H up, came to me to talk some crap about skin-to-skin. She said my procedure would take long so I couldn't do much skin to skin since they had to take him to the nursery to be warmed up. I had already known this so I was wondering why she'd still brought him to me. Anyway, her version of skin-to-skin was to she put his face on mine (in the process compressing my nose till I couldn't breathe lol) and said that was skin-to-skin. Duh, even in my semi-conscious state, I knew that wasn't it. Anyway, that was that. They took him away and I dozed off as they stitched me up.

I woke up in the recovery room shivering madly - a reaction to the anaesthesia.  I was very frightened, the trembling was quite severe. Being alone, I felt even more fearful. My teeth were chattering uncontrollably and I was extremely cold even after the thermal blanket and many layers of other blankets they had put on me.  After a while Auntie came in and I felt better in no time. She assured me that everything was fine and that it was a normal reaction. The dr eventually came to give me something else to reduce the shivering. It took almost an hour but finally I was out of the recovery room.  I was surprised to see my family there - everyone from Mr F to PIL to Sakura congratulating me and asking me how I was. I couldn't reply much but I do remember everyone joining me in the lift to be wheeled back to my room.

I was still shivering in the room and needed another layer of blanket.  Everyone was gathering around H and I felt almost envious that I couldn't hold my own baby. Auntie brought him up to me to show him to me and I was like - wow, that's my son.  Mr F then later lifted him to me and I kissed him.  Mr F and I held hands and looked into each other's eyes - our new family had begun. =)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

[Labour Day - A Divinely Guided Delivery, Part One]

Let's back track a few days so that I can boast about what a wonderful hubby I have. 

On the 20th of Dec (seems I can remember the dates clearly, too bad I just didn't have the time or right frame of mind to blog sooner), hubby sent me a message to say he would be back late from work.  I found this suspicious because he hadn't done it since I came here.  A couple of hours later he texted to say he was home and he would be sleeping in the next morning. I suppose his intention, or supposed intention, was to tell me either not to worry that he didn't answer his phone or not to disturb him (I hope it was the former lol).  I had not-so-secrretly been hoping that habibi would come earlier to ease the tension of an unpredictable impending day of Baby's arrival.  Even blatantly told him to surprise me by coming earlier, and provided an SIA officer's contact number to help him change his ticket.  However, since 23rd was fast approaching, I had mostly given up hope. If I could wait so many days, what would 2 days be right?

But alas, hubby had something up his sleeve.  While watching TV on the 21st, I was still thinking "if he doesn't come by 2pm then I guess I must've made the whole thing up in my mind". 2 o'clock came and went and there was no sign of him so I gave up hoping. I guess I had to wait for the 23rd afterall.  Suddenly at 2.30 there was a ring at the door and Sakura got up to answer the door. There was "no one" at the door so I went out to investigate the source of the door bell.  There he was - after looking far right - my mischievous hubby grinning away! He was here! 2 days early! What a great surprise it was!  He wasn't too pleased with my "What are you doing here?!" reaction, but nevertheless I hugged him really tight and welcomed him with open arms. I knew he had been up to something the day before!! Apparently my suspicions were right afterall. Trust a women's instinct eh? Keke.

Thanks to his early arrival, he was able to come for our last prenatal appointment.  Dr S could sense how relieved I was that habibi was here. She told Mr F "She was a nervous wreck when you were not around, now she's glowing." Hehehe. Well my love, now you know how important you are to me.


So the labour story begins here. 

I was still feeling a bit jittery about the whole major operation thing. I had told Sakura to give me "tough love" as I headed off for the hospital that night.  Tough love because that way I wouldn't get too emo. Yes, I get emo-er when I get "soft love". But nevermind that.

We were given the option of coming in at 12am or 6am on the morning of 27 Dec since ours was the first op of the day (8.30am).  12am sounded like a better option so that we could settle in slowly and get used to the hospital environment.  So at about 11.30pm we said our prayers and goodbyes to my family and Mr F and I headed to the hospital to check in.  The next morning was going to be a big moment.

At around 4am after trying to catch some sleep (quite impossible with nurses coming in to check/do this and that), I felt like a stomach ache coming on.  Maybe I had eaten something wrong that day. Darn, what a time to have food poisoning, or so I thought.  The pain became quite regular, about 7 mins apart.  After awhile of tossing and turning, I decided to go to the loo to relieve myself then tried to get back to sleep.  The pains continued, 7 mins apart but lasting only a few seconds. This couldn't be labour I guess since the "contractions" only lasted a few seconds. Plus they came on suddenly and were already 5-7 mins apart, weren't they supposed to come more irregularly first?  About an hour of the same pain later, I decided to go to the toilet to relieve myself yet again.  This was when things got interesting because as I was cleaning up, there was a bloody show on the toilet paper (on hindsight, I'm quite amused I had the instinct to check before washing up straight away. And on hindsight, apparently that sharp pain I felt before leaving home was probably a sign of things to come, not just a backache).  I woke hubby up to tell him that I was in labour, then alerted a nurse who said she would monitor me. 

Monitor me she didn't (bleah) but the contractions continued and I was amused, irritated and amazed that Baby decided I should go into labour on the scheduled day itself. How accurate - on his EDD at that.  I took it that God was giving me a sign that we had chosen the right day to schedule the c-section. And apparently, even with the c-section, I was meant to have a taste of labour pains afterall; though I wasn't entirely amused by that (note by irritation). Talk about double whammy - contractions PLUS c-section!  I went through the contractions quite calmly thanks to my HB sessions, breathing through them as they came. Trust me, even with all that training, going through the surges were no walk in the park.  It did help though because I was calm and knew how to brace myself through the pain.  Since we hadn't forseen going into labour, Mr F hadn't learnt the ways to massage me from Sakura. Though from how I reacted when I asked him to put his hand on my tummy to soothe me (by being my "heat pack") during one surge, I think I would've been more irritated than calm if he had tried to massage me. Well, I guess G did say that different women react differently to touch when they are actually in labour. (Note: during class, the massages simply felt shiok...hehe.)

At about 7am I was almost ready for the op. Auntie had come some time before that to see how I was doing. She was a little annoyed that the nurse didn't monitor me afterall even though I was already in labour but she couldn't do anything since it wasn't her ward or domain.  Mama and Sakura arrived in time before I was due to go the the OT.  My OT gown was damn unglam, it was made for shorter people so when I wore it, it hardly covered anything.  Auntie was busy taking photos with her iPad even in my unglam state (exposed, during contractions and al) - I wonder if the whole thing was amusing to her lol.  The crazy attendant wanted me to walk down to the OT but I'm glad my mum insisted that they wheel me down instead otherwise the walk there would've been very slow and painful.  Auntie came again while we were in the pre-op room. Her presence was really reassuring and she seemed to be pretty popular around the hospital. 

Soon it was time to go in. I would see Mr F in the OT once I had been prepped up.......

Monday, January 23, 2012

Since I can't possibly be 44 weeks pregnant, I guess it's time to take off my pregnancy ticker.  Here comes my new ticker to track H's first year. =)

[Labour day part zero]

It started out when I woke up on 16 Dec. I remember the date clearly because it was one week till habibi was due to come.  It also turned out to be a memorable day because my Syrian friend had her baby that day.

I noticed some wetness as I got up.  Thinking it was nothing, I headed to the hall to have my breakfast. The leaking continued and then I started panicking. At the back of my mind I was thinking, the signs look obvious, but something was not right. This couldn't be it.  To add to the panic, I did not want to go into labour without my habibi around.  By 11am I called him up (yes, it was 6am in Ruh on a weekend - sorry baby) to tell him what was going on. Tell him wouldn't be an accurate description, more like crying to him. I kept saying I did not want to go into labour without him and that I couldn't do it without him. The sensible thing was to get myself checked at the hospital yet I kept thinking, "if this is it, and I go get myself checked, I'm sure the doctor would induce me."  My brains got the better of me and as habibi said, the right thing to do was to get myself checked so that baby wouldn't be in danger if I procrastinate.

Bracing myself, I walked into Sakura's room and tearily told her I was in labour.  The poor girl, half asleep, looked a little shocked and asked why I was crying. So I repeated again that I did not want to have baby without his father around. Sigh. Sakura being the clear headed lady she was, very calmly asked me to start my breathing exercises.  She then freshened up and even warmed my rice sock for me.  We called Auntie to ask if we should go to the hospital, to which she said we probably should.  She sensed my panic and tried to calm me down and "warned" me that if it was the real thing, I should prepare myself, even without Mr F, since it was best for baby.  After the breathing exercises and regaining my composure, I told myself I could do it. I had Sakura with me afterall.

I still did not believe what was happening. Yet, even Sakura said she could smell my "labour fluid", or whatever it was.  I prepared myself; removing the nail polish from my manicure (darn :P), packed my hospital bag (or the last minute stuff that had to be packed into it) and we headed off to the hospital. My mum said she'd meet us there. The taxi driver took my mind off things by joking a lot along the way. He said stuff like, don't worry, when I drive, there won't be a jam on PIE.  Then he said I should ask my baby to wait till new year so that he can be a new year baby. Thanks uncle for keeping me calm! Till now I wonder if he knew, or perhaps he was just being his usual jovial self.

To cut a long story short, after a long hour or so in the delivery suite, Dr S came to check if I was truly leaking amniotic fluid.  The CTG machine was annoying me so I was eager to get the procedure over and done with. By then, I had psyched myself that I was able to have baby without Mr F around.  After checking, Dr S gave the clear and said it was probably some other fluid, and I wasn't in labour. PHEW. Silly me, there I was panicking during the wait because I thought the peaks on the CTG machine meant I was having contractions. Seems they were just baby moving inside me.  All the while, Mr F was "by my side" sms-ing and calling me asking for updates.  Even my MIL sms-ed to tell me to be calm. How sweet.  After the long wait, I went to tell Sakura and mama the good news and we headed home after that eventful day.

Thank God I had my wonderful family around me. Calm Sakura, who later said she was just pretending to be calm (she did a mighty good job - I wouldn't have known); darling mum who rushed down from her tuition to be there with me; cute father who finally saw the urgency of getting a mattress for a cot after we told him about the (false) labour; and Auntie who came from her duty even though she was busy to check on me.

During all that excitement, Sakura and Auntie had told Mr F that the day might come anytime soon so it would be good if he could come down earlier. Unfortunately flights were fully booked and Mr F couldn't get much more leave anyway, so it was a wait and see thing whether he could come. Being practical as he was, he even said there was no point in him coming early if "nothing was going to happen". Gah.

In any case, labour part zero was a good preparation for the actual day; had I gone into spontaneous labour. More to come about things that transpired up to the actual day...stay tuned... ;)