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NOTE BY BIRTH STORY OWNER :
It took me quite some time before I made the decision to share this story – OUR BIRTH STORY – to the world. Most probably due to the fear that people might take our childbirth as a “simple” and doable act, and wanting to do it blindly. Please, DON’T! So please understand the steps we have taken as a couple as you read our story to welcome our princess as gentlest as possible. All of this happen simply because, “Kun Fayakun”, “Be and it is!”.
All praises to Allah, for He is the All-Knowing. May the sharing of this story will be an eye-opener to the vast knowledge of physiological birth to all readers out there, insyaAllah. And as the story-teller itself, let this tiny knowledge sharing be void of riaq, taqbur and ‘ujub. Again, He is The All-Knowing.
Our first experience with pregnancy has been quite simple and was a typical hospital birth. Although I have been introduced to gentle birth and have been reading almost all the knowledge shared in the group. BUT, I was still not very well equipped with knowledge about; 1. Epidural and its possible risks and effects and oh c’mon.. Epidural, an equivalent to a pain-free birth, is naturally very enticing to a mother in painful, active labour. 2. I was not strong enough to say NO! to episiotomy that is against my knowledge and consent . And 3. I was also charged for a vacuum procedure (a friggin RM750!!) that was not even done to me. I felt like I was a failure. Like I was not a good enough mother for awhile there. You know, like why can’t I deliver like atuk nenek dulu? No pain-meds so powerful like that? Why am I so lembik? Yada yada yada. Oh well, I forgive myself now.
Fast forward, we were again blessed with our second pregnancy. This time, I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake of my ignorance and mousy-ness. I want to have a memorable birth, better breastfeeding start (baby free from the effect of any pain meds etc) and we will try as best we can to make it work! So we attended AMANI Birth class. Big shout out to my CBE teacher: Thank you so much Hanz! The class was worth it and we could not have done it without you! My husband was even more confident about birth that he himself said, “Kalau macam ni, Baba pun boleh sambut baby!” and I laughed it off with a nervous smile. Little did he know the effect of his words. Ehehe…
We also took care of our diet and fitness. I took a lot of natural food, sunnah food ie. Dates, raisins, honey and ate lesser junk/fast food. Kadang-kadang makan juga KFC. Hehe. But true enough, that gave me better reading of my hB than the pills. I was also fitter! I took brisk walking seriously towards the end of my trimester. Those who knew me will know how “un-fit” I was when it comes to anything related to sports. But for this pregnancy, Alhamdulillah… I managed to complete one month of Ramadhan fasting, all the while walking, and climbing up and down the third floor for all my three classes, which is located in different buildings, all over the school, DAILY! Round kampong sehari 3 kali setiap pagi ok kawan-kawan? I was not like this during my first so yeah, that is BIG! At least for me lah.. Give me a break ok fellas? ;P
36 Weeks : Went for usual monthly check ups with the doctors. Scan, scan, oh baby is oblique (diagonal)/breech. I was referred to a specialist the same day. So off I went (and got lost that took me almost 2 hours just to get to the hospital). Scan again, confirmed we have a breech. Unstable lie, which mean, kejap senget, kejap tegak, closer to heart, gitu. Hee..
1st doctor: Puan kena admit. Kita nak scan hari-hari. Kalau continuous breech, by 38th weeks kita perform LSCS (pucat lesi dah time ni! Cesarean was the last thing on my mind!). By 38 weeks baby dah matang.
Me: Eh tapi saya ada history overdue. Tak boleh ke kita tunggu at least 40 weeks? Rugi perkembangan otak dan peparu baby. I know 38 weeks dah matang tapi sayanglah, masa tu perkembangan paling rapid.
The answer is still NO. So I was admitted. Takpelah. Then upstairs, I met a second doctor, I quickly minta discaj. She was confused a bit. Peliklah this mother.. Hehe.. But she was nice, really!
2nd doctor: Hmm. Ok, macam ni, we will admit you then perform scan regularly for three(3!!) days. Once baby cephalic, we will induce by rupturing your membrane. Kalau still breech then I perform ECV, which is 50/50 percent of success. Also, if baby persistently unstable lie, suka pusing-pusing, then only we perform a c-section. (Bless her, she was so nice to explain it this far to me. Maybe I look too nervous sampai nak cabut lari terus!)
But I was adamant. I said, baby is small kan doctor (she said it herself) maybe that’s why dia boleh pusing-pusing lagi. Plus three days is a little too short a chance for my baby. I’m at 36 weeks. We have 4 weeks versus 3 days. Don’t you think it’s a little unfair? With my past overdue history, my baby could be a premiee should we proceed with induced labour at 38 weeks. Second pregnancy also means my uterus dah “longgar” so cannot grip the baby (she also said it herself) kan? Hehe. I promise will continue to monitor the baby everyday. Pleaseeeee.. Gelak nervous. Finally the doctor laughed at my stubbornness and let me go. Phew.. Kalau tak, 3 hari sebelum raya dah pantang dah..erk!
Then, 2nd day of raya, at my 38th weeks, I met my 3rd doctor;
She was quite senior and as she was scanning my tummy, she motherly said,
“Oh, second time mother memang biasalah tu baby tak masuk laluan lagi. Memang dia boleh pusing-pusing lagi sebab rahim dah meregang.. Jangan risau, selagi you are not in labour, selagi tu dia boleh berpusing. Pujuk-pujuklah dia supaya masuk laluan elok-elok. Even labour itself is a process to position the baby properly. Lainlah kalau dah takdir memang dia nak juga breech. Even kalau breech pun, still possible for a normal vaginal birth but it was no longer practiced in the hospital. It was a lost art. Anyway, see this round shape? It’s the head. Your baby IS head down. Everything is good. Alhamdulillah. Si kakak ni umur berapa tahun? Becoknyaa..bla bla bla..”
Again, syukur alhamdulillah. Lega sekali lagi. And baby remained cephalic, head down following check ups, up until birth. One of the best decisions made so far.
Oh what I did to encourage baby to be in this position? I went to seek advises from my AMANI CBE, Hanz told me to study spinningbabies.com website’s instruction like Forward Leaning Inversions (FLI) especially, 10 seconds leaning heads down, twice a day, squat more, walk even more, prolonged sujud (ambil peluang berdoa banyak-banyak masa ni),gently swaying my hips on my gymball whenever I felt the baby’s hiccups is down below (konon-konon supaya dapat grab kepala baby masuk laluan laa..haha!) I even met an osteopath to get checked up if my body is the one causing my baby to behave like that..hehe. I’ve got nothing to lose by trying all this methods.
I even met three different doctors (not including two I’ve met previously) that are willing to accept a normal (if possible) breech delivery. None found. But by then, I was no longer worried of my baby’s position. I wanted to keep calm and continue enjoying my last trimester happily. Risau tu ada juga but hey, I know I’ve studied my brain dry and I’ve tried every method possible for the sake of my baby to have a normal birth. Jika ditakdirkan breech and we need a cesarean, I know I have tried my best and I won’t regret it. Pentingnya faham dan terima qada’ dan qadar Allah selepas berusaha sedaya upaya.
But---- My baby have her own mind. Hehe.
By 40th week, I was still driving to school, tummy almost touching the steering wheel. Annoying okay? At 41 weeks, I was still climbing the stairs up and down that sometimes, I purposely avoid stairs with incoming teachers to avoid the same repetitive questions and the same repetitive answer. Bubs is not gonna stay inside forever, yes?
Well-meaning friends and relatives were getting worried as I was past due but looked as if I was in my early third trimester. Maybe the walking-every-morning routine was the culprit? My klinik desa’s nurse/friend was getting nervous as well. But I just smiled and promised to monitor baby’s movement as close as possible and wait for the baby to come out when she wanted to. “WHO recognized 42 weeks as not overdue, just post-date. Hehe.” I remember saying this to my nurse-friend. Member geleng kepala je la. Degil sungguh cikgu sorang ni..
The Labour Story:
14 August 2015 – Very mild cramping. Not painful at all. Went for karaoke after dinner with our little family. Nawwar tertidur lepas nyanyi lagu dia, Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star. Haah, memang ada lagu tu dalam playlist. The cramping stopped and I carried her down back to the parking lot. Heavy lifting on purpose konon nak start balik contraction tapi tak juga. Acah je la tu. Balik rumah prepared underpad on our bed, in case of any leaks but still, none.
15 August 2015 – Started having mild irregular surges! Yey! Finally! Sempat pergi midnight movie-date with darling hubs at Setia City Mall en route back to Kampung Kuala. Nawwar was transferred to her tokwans beforehand. Tengok Tom Cruise tembak-tembak orang sambil tekan start/pause button kat contraction timer app. Balik rumah, tidur jelah. I instinctively know it will be quite some time before it will get regular. Husband kepoh a bit but bearable, like the irregular surges. Hehe.
16th August 2015 – Went hill-hiking at Bukit Malawati, Kuala Selangor. It has been awhile since we have our date without our bouncy bunny Nawwar so I think oxytocin may have played its part here. ;) By then, I’ve already texted my AMANI classmates about my progress. Surges came if I was mobile hence the more walking and hiking. Wow, tinggi jugalah Bukit Malawati tu. Stopped at certain points for squatting and stretching, and deep breathing. All husband-led coach. Untung isteri cikgu PJ. ;) Turun bukit, pekena roti canai Hamzah. Last time rasa teh ais. Balik rumah in-law pekena nasi dagang. Memang cucu tok Terengganu la ni. Kenapa ya? Read on..
We settled down at my in-laws because we wanted to give birth at a nearby GH. So by evening, the surges are getting regular, so I prayed and asked to have my surges to get regular after I have completed my Isya’ prayer. My prayers were granted and by 9pm, the surges were getting intense but still bearable.Yeah, STILL BEARABLE believe me I do. I started swaying my hips standing, on my gymball and walking around the living room. My mother in-law noted that I looked uncomfortable. Not really Mama, I said. I am ok. I just need to keep moving. So I swayed and rocked my hips on my gymball. My in-laws were pretty much relaxed and let me be me as I layan my surges. What blessing. My husband was playing his football manager, layan me time to time with continuous supply of warm water and hot milo then as he left to go watch his football match, I proceeded to layan my surges inside our room quietly. I didn’t mind since I surges were okay and I did not want him to worry. I switched off the lights and lay down wanting to sleep or rest in-between surges. Tak best. Being immobile really makes the surges from bearable into painful. Plus if I sleep, no one to push the start/stop on my contraction timer app and the interval went off! Heheh. So I got up. Time passed, just as my husband’s finished watching his football match, he helped me with my breathing with every surge. I keep on visualizing rosebud blooming, while I held on to him for support. It felt really sweet, to be supported during this moment of my life. I went to the toilet frequently to empty my bladder to help ease the descend of the baby. Then during this visit, I notice yet another urge to pass motion so I thought, ‘Oh ada lagi belum lepas kot?’ so I pushed casually, not really thinking but nothing came out. It felt like constipation. Then I saw little streaks of blood.
“Oh maybe it’s time! Jom baba let’s go!” THEN my husband started to get really panicked. Mana taknya, time tu lah nak tukar seluar. Dari tadi tanak pakai seluaq siap-siap! Dalam hati ni masih sempat nak membebel sebab masa tahan contractions tu memang dah terdetik dah, mamat ni rilek je berpelikat. Then he went to wake my in-law to tell them that we’re going. I was slowly swaying and the surges were getting intense and closely apart. Like, every few steps, I have to stop and breathe. Sempat ni.. Hospital is nearby. Yeah right..
(Note: This moment I clearly remembered my husband asking, eh how about your underwear? I said, “Let it be! Sooner or later we are going to take it off anyway! CEPATLAAHHHH!!” Hahah! It is true that as you get closer to birth, there gone your modesty. Hehe.)
I was waiting for my husband at the hall when I distinctly felt the head drop down. “Uh’oh! Oh no no no!” and I fell to the floor, half kneeling beside the sofa. My mother in-law came out of the room, sleepy and shocked to see me there. I can’t barely said anything other than “Tak sempat tak sempat tak sempat!”. Bless her, she quickly massaged my back softly, at the same time shouted for my husband to come back in. I loudly called my husband saying,”The he baby is coming Baba!” since I can clearly felt the famous Ring of Fire. This time, I got kind of pasrah already. Ok, we’re gonna give birth here,so be it! Husband calmly wait and as I loudly push (yes, loud. How embarrassing!) like I was scolding the whole school. I think I’m that mom who push, not breathe the baby out. But I was careful to make sure I breathe out as I push as I don’t want to restrict any oxygen to the baby, hence the loud vocal. One push, head’s out! Alhamdulillah.. While waiting for the next surge, I managed to relaxed a bit.
“Mama, kepala baby dalam tangan Baba tau ni? Hehe!”
“Really? Haha! Eh wait, what’s the colour? Is she red or blue?”
“Is it? Haha! Alhamdulillah.. Oh, Mama, sorry I ruined your carpet! Oh wait, another one coming!”
A couple more pushes and WHOOSSH! The whole body was out, Alhamdulillah. All praises to Allah.
The whole house was awake by then . I was just so relieved. And sooooooo happy! I was NOT tired. Not at all. I just felt so weirded out with the sudden lost of my heavy tummy. It felt so light since I was still half-kneeling beside the sofa. Realizing my aching knee, I asked my husband to help me turn my back. I was afraid I might tripped over the cord -still beautifully blue! So I turned slowly and took the baby to my chest. She was pink, so clean, and no vernix! Tsk.. I really wanted to see and feel how vernix would feel on my hands. Her eyes was so wide. Calm and alert. I tried to breastfeed her but she wasn’t so eager to latch immediately so I didn’t push. We just enjoyed the moment, me and my husband. WE DID IT! Allah is The Almighty! SubhanAllah..
As we were busy birthing, my mother in-law managed to call our neighbor, Dr. Azam, to help and assist with the delivery. He came just as the head was out so he let my husband to continue to catch the baby. He was so nervous he was sweating buckets in his pelikat and singlets! He was wondering whether we should cut the cord or not. Me being me, I said no and my husband cleverly suggested us to just wait for the ambulance since we do not have any sterile equipment to do it. Hehe. So we did get our delayed-cord clamping eventually! Cheeky, I know! Hehe. Dr. Azam then requested to talk to the Labor Room doctors for further steps while waiting for the ambulance (which took 40 minutes to arrive that was well spent with family selfies! Ha!) so he came back and slapped baby’s foot to let her cry (which is actually unnecessary since she’s already breastfeeding/looking around intently by that time) and tied her white limp cord with a nylon, following standard procedures. My husband and I just smiled and tried to look fairly decent with all that mess.
Alhamdulillah, all praises to Allah, The ONE and ONLY. He led us to His knowledge about physiological birth, the rizq to attend the class and the calmness to accept the whole delivery-at-home drama. He also granted my duas that I prayed hard day and night;
“Ya Allah, keluarkanlah dia dari perutku dengan mudah dan selamat”
“Ya Allah, rezekikan aku nikmat kelahiran mengikut fitrahMu”
“Ya Allah, tenangkanlah hati kami, bukakanlah hati kami dan permudahkanlah urusan kami dalam menerima kehadiran amanahMu ini”
“Ya Allah, lindungilah auratku, lindungilah aibku dan hadirkanlah disisi kami, insan-insan yang ikhlas membantu kami dalam urusan kelahiranku ini”
Granted, Dr. Azam is a male doctor tapi inilah yang kita panggil darurat dan kami sedar kemungkinan-kemungkinan yang boleh berlaku dengan unassisted childbirth, dan kehadiran dan bantuan Dr. Azam kami redha dalam keadaan ketika itu dan amatlah kami hargai. Allah Maha Mengetahui hikmah disetiap kejadian. Bukan setakat suami je teman, the whole family was there! So much love, mashaAllah..
Anyway, that was it. My super-long birth story.
When asked, “Mudahnya bersalin! Tak takut ke? Tak sakit ke?”
My reply will be,
No. I honestly did not know which part that they meant as “senang” or “easy” because it took us from the moment we saw that double pink lines, that we knew of the baby’s arrival, to prepare ourselves to give her the gentlest birth possible.
Scared? Birth is not scary. Are you scared to breathe? Birth is as normal as breathing, provided we know how to breathe properly. That is where knowledge comes. So dig up. Learn and learn and learn. And try your best as the time comes and leave the rest to Allah. Again, it is not easy, but it is possible. Allah is not a careless creator. He is the BEST creator.
Sakit? Tipulah tak sakit. Sakit! But, despite all the mess I’ve made on the carpets, the towels and the chaos erupted in the living room at 2am in the morning, all the love I felt from my husband, the reassurance I receive from my mother in-law, and the concerned look from my father in-law (whom I later learned, cried silently as I deliver) overpowered all feelings of pain. SubhanAllah..
I know I can do this, I am safe and I’m in good hands. So does my husband, my best companion, my other half and of course, my baby, Nawraa Amana. WE DID IT! Weee!
Alhamdulillah for the thousandth time.
Ps. Happy 1 month old baby bear!