Borned as the youngest siblings both hubby and me, it is expected from both sides of family that we would follow or observed the elders and heed their advises and having a child, parenting was one of the raised topics.
I was raised and implanted the ideas that giving birth is one of the thing a woman must endure and bear and all must being taken care from medical assistance. No need to ask question. "Doctors knows best."
(Lesson learnt : Almighty knows best.)
With fears inside once found I was soon to become a mother nine months down, joy and fear was one of those mixed up emotions that I had throughout those 9 months then. I was naive. Lacked knowledges. I did’nt read any books or consult anyone expertise in this childbirth stuff. All I think of is, I need to be strong, this is an unavoidable pain, part of parcel on becoming a mother, so like it or not, you must tolerate this very soon. All I did was kept reading parenting magazines throughout those nine months & tried to digest as much information as I could.
(Lesson learnt : Magazines being sponsored & endorsed and some of its contents questionable and misleading. Get your facts from reliable sources. Not 100% infos in magazines are accurate)
When I went for my periodic ante-natal checkup it was at week 32, from the ultrasound scan, my baby was suspected having a kidney deformed and without further test done, I was instructed to have induced labour at week 38 and even given a date for the exact induction.
Went religiously for close-monitoring so rather few weeks gap, I have to attend weekly check-up instead, even once I was being held in that hospital which if my mind could recalled well, happened around week 35. Results came and they found something amiss, which contradicted from the earlier ultrasound findings. They found nothing wrong with my boy’s kidney and were advised to just close monitor and possibility for induce labour might be cancelled afterall.
(Lesson learnt : Numerous research done, ultrasound scan findings are unrealible at times and misleadings. What you should do, limit the number of ultrasound scan, let nature do its work. Trust Almighty, trust your body, trust your baby and listen to your mother's wisdom inner-self and intuition. It's there, presence to guide you along this journey. To date, there is no valid research to backup that ultrasound is safe enough for neonatal)
Somehow, exactly one day before the actual given date of induced, before the subuh prayers, I fell warm rush liquid trickling down in between legs. I thought I had peed but since the watery substance continues I made an assumption, this must be what I read in those parenting magazine, “Water just broke!” When hubs called his mother, we listened to her so done with packing and ate some light breakfast, we headed to the hospital. It was not continuous trickling though but afraid something bad would happen, we just off, readily to greet our baby to this world.
(Lesson learnt : Contraction was'nt there and it was only trickled drip for a while and it stopped. We should just stay at home, be concern on hygiene, keep monitoring that baby stays active, keep hydrated and trust my intuition that it was'nt time yet to give birth.)
There was’nt any labour room available when we arrived. Many moms going for labour too so I was asked to wait in temporary room and few hours later, I was put on drip and later learnt that it was an induction procedure. Cold, alone, helpless and with no one accompanying me, I longed for my hubby to be by my side. Unfortunately, it was the hospital policy that husband is disallowed to be presence all the time during childbirth. Later we regretted and wondered why on earth we chose this hospital for me to give birth.
(Lesson learnt : Any labouring mother needs support, love, care and understanding. Be there for her. Don't leave her alone.)
I was’nt allowed to drink, eat and even to go to the toilet. The temporary room’s door was opened and I could see passer-by won’t stop threw me a look when they walked passed my room. Hungry, exhausted and totally lost plus the embarassing situation on having so many people to see me in that state.
(Lesson learnt : Even marathon runners needs nourishment before the big day race. Why deprived mother from her much needed nourishment? Childbirth is hard, labour work. And, please respect labouring monther’s privacy and modesty)
Few hours passed by and I lost track of time and suddenly a doctor entered and asked whether I want any pain relief. All the waiting, I did feel tingling sensation but it was’nt pain at all but till now I still could’nt accept the fact why I agreed to the doctor’s suggestions. I was given an epidural.
(Lesson learnt : Do avoid any pain relief. Tolerate the temporary sensation and you would be grateful or suffer the consequence of it's reverse effect on your body and the harmful substance does get to your baby.)
It was like being in a state whereby people thought you were absence and probably that is half-true because it was still fresh in my mind when finally few in-house training doctors entered with nurses and they realized I was overdosed with pitocin.
I was heavily drugged till I could not feel my lower abdomen and legs. I was nauseous and my eyes were blurried. Came the doctor asking me whether I do feel anything to be associated with "I’m ready to give birth". I almost cursed the doctor, because when you can’t feel anything on your lower body part, how am I supposed to know that my baby will be out or not? But, I just shook my head without saying anything.
Soon enough, both my legs on a stirrup and my baby was forced out through vacuum procedure. I was admitted at 8 in the morning and my last meal around two hours before reaching hospital and worst was having to spend long torturous hours without single drop of water , any bite, finally my baby was borned at 7 in the evening.
My baby were held for whole night consequence of prolonged labour, they need to close-monitor. It was formula feed that fed him not my colostrum. I was’nt even allowed to hold as much as to kiss and nurse him immediately right after he was borned, but we were separated for long, long hours.
I had major stitches and according to them, I torned badly. It was horrible. It was totally something that really heartbreaking. I threw up whole bucket lots after my stitches was done and almost collapsed due to exhaustion and lack of nourishment.
The very next morning, after breakfast, only I received my baby. He was already full with formula feed. I was crushed. My mother whom just arrived coaxed me to tease my baby’s lips with my nipples but it was’n very easy. It was totally an ackward situation.
I went back to my mother’s house to have my confinement there, found me in state near post-partum depression. I suffered severe pain out of the episiotomy and could not even sit properly. I even had suffered blocked ducts and fever because my baby unable to latch properly and could not nurse so well. And, the constant crying and with so many do’s and don’ts I almost went insane. I totally hate motherhood at that point of time. I despised my baby. I blamed my baby for making it difficult for me and making me to go through all that.
Hubby came and rescued me from all my misery and no permission granted from both my parents to bring me home as they wished that I have to continue my confinement there. Hubby insisted to bring me back to his mother’s house. My mother was angry for our decision and yet we proceeded without caring less putting my sanity and welfare of our newborn first. Hubs could witnessed I was suffering and wilting away.
Things did get better when I continued my confinement at mother in law’s house since hubby would be around and my mother in law was less rigid when it comes to confinement practices.
All in all, 18th of February, 2004 marked the date our firstborn brought to this world which left me scarred and traumatic experience that I tried my very best to forget so much ordeal I’ve gone through. I healed through advocacy.
From there onwards, lesson learnt, plus sheer determination I started to learn more on breastfeeding and Alhamdulillah, Hanafi was fully breastfed till 2 years old.