Friday, 25 October 2013

The Labour Story Part 2

Warning: Get comfy, this is a long post. If you are reading this because you are looking for reviews of the doctors in this post, hope this will find you well, but please make your own informed decision and not solely rely on my experience to decide on the best medical care that you so deserve.

Caution: If you are reading this because you are the doctor concerned and you Google-d yourself, go to the last paragraphs for the best bits! *big smile*

Maybe the last caution: If you are here because you are a PETRONAS staff, I'd say take a labour room and suite tour, meet and interview the doctors yourself for the best possible maternity benefit. Wish I was still with PETRONAS, heh! If you are wondering if PCMC is the best facility around KLCC, I'd say "YES!".

A much-delayed, heavily-edited post with grammatical errors sincerest apologies!

After dinner at The Flat Upstairs, we returned home to start the evening routine and put The Little Girl to bed. She finally slept at about 9.30 pm after a stack of bedtime stories and 2 bottles of milk.

By then, I was feeling some contractions and casually dismissed them as Braxton-Hicks. The Other Half wondered if this was the real deal but I shrugged it off, as it would be really embarrassing to show up at PCMC with yet another false alarm.

This time, I was going to wait for the show. The real deal. No more false alarm, please. I hate vaginal exams, remember?

So the evening wore on. We finished watching Bourne Identity and although I was feeling some discomfort, I enjoyed re-watching the movie. 

My bump looked like it was turning at one point, contorted itself into a funny crescent shape like it did a lot in my first pregnancy. My gut feeling told me it was a good sign. I had been "spinning the baby".

Honestly, we were quite glad that Bean had finally decided to turn and clear the occiput posterior situation for me. Bless this kid! I'd thought maybe now I won't have the reputed painful back labour?

When the movie ended, we went to bed. I replied all the outstanding whatsapp messages, made sure my side of the bed was lined and drifted off to sleep with a bit of grunts in trying to find a cosy spot, blessed by the thought that these were going to be last few days of the baby lying on top of me from within me.

Then at 2.50 am, I felt an urge to pee. I thought maybe at 39 weeks 3 days along, it'd be safer to have the lights on at the bathroom instead of fumbling in the dark. Our flat is always semi-lit as the other buildings surrounding us is always lit at night, and we can manage walking about at night without the lights on. Small fringe benefit for living in the city of lights...

However, on that particular night, I flicked the switch on, as I had listened to my better judgment. Just as well the lights were on!

What came after the pee was something I had not seen before!
A slug!! A firm, agar-agar, clear slug of me!!
From my vajayjay!! *GASP*
I was positively taken aback and double-checked online with Baby Centre if that was indeed my clear mucuos plug. There was no pain, the contractions were light and at the interval that I had gotten used to.

The results for my search was encouraging.

Hooray! It was a sure sign of early labour! My body is designed for birthing mantra played in my head and most importantly, prayers for forgiveness of all my sins started in my heart without prompting.

Quiet as a mouse (I am not a drama queen, obviously), I waddled back into the master bedroom to wake The Other Half up from his deep sleep. I didn't want to wake The Little Girl (who still slept with us then) so I was sure not to make too much of a ruckus.

"Dada (meaning my husband), we have to get to the hospital. I lost my mucuos plug! Call Dada (meaning my FIL) and Mama (meaning my MIL) to come here and sleep with her (meaning The Little Girl)", I whispered.

He rang his parents in his "semi-comatose state". I went to get the packed and ready to go hospital bag, added some dates into the snack bag and changed into my going-out-to-PCMC-to-birth-Bean outfit complete with headscarf and all.

Within a few minutes, my MIL and FIL were at our door. Kisses and salams were exchanged, the bags were loaded into the family 4WD and off we went to "greet our Bean".

It was not a quiet city at all, even at 3.15 am.

There was a car crash outside Wisma MCA which caused us some delay then followed by a road block conducted by Rela (for some undisclosed reason) at Auto Bavaria Jalan Tun Razak. 

When we got to PCMC, we couldn't find a park at the ER bays so The Other Half deposited me at the ER entrance while he went to park the 4WD, to save me from waddling under the dark, hazy skies.
By the time he came back to ER lounge, I was already "processed" and on my wheelchair, ready to be sent to Level 6 Labour Room. At 3.30 am, my hospital check-in to labour ward 6G-04 was completed. The CTG was placed and my monitoring began. A vaginal exam showed 2 cm. Sigh. Long way to go.
I was then transferred to labour ward 6G-07 as it was going to be a slow going early labour. We both discussed and decided to be admitted instead of going home to wait it out (did not want to risk the morning peak hour or worse, evening grid lock!)

The nurse came in again at 4 am for a much dreaded vaginal exam which showed only 2 cm. The Other Half and I communicated our decision to be admitted. The nurse verbally told me that Dr. Seri had been informed since my "check-in" and her plan was to induce me at 6.30 am, to which I agreed.

At 4.25 am, there were more dislodging and discharge of mucous plug but no sign of water breaking. I remember trying to relax by reading what I could on iQuran.

At 6.30 am, one shot of enema was given and although I was told to wait, I just could not. What came after was the second most painful  poo ever! I guess I grunted for so long and so loudly The Other Half must have been a bit concerned.

Relief came at 7.50 am when Dr. Seri came for her round. Vaginal exam showed 4 cm, show finally appeared and I was encouraged to eat some breakfast (yums!).
The birth plan was epidural and induce although by then I was a bit fuzzy-headed from all my negative chatter from inside my head and asked Dr. Seri if we should just go for C-sec and be done with it.
Thankfully, Dr. Seri stood firm on our agreed birth plan. She told me about my favourable cervix, body designed by Allah to birth naturally and that I do not need a C-sec. All I had to do was eat, pray, sleep and birth Bean. Sounds easy peasy, in retrospective. Dr. Seri reminded me of the recovery plan after birth and how I should look forward to all my urut sessions ahead. She is very good at mind games, and I needed it!

So, after a very delicious breakfast, I was transferred back to labour room 6G-04 where it had all started about 7 hours prior. At 10 am, I got my epidural by Dr. Syed Rozaidi. Love, love, love how detailed he was with explaining what I was going to expect next at every step of the way. 

What I could hear, I could imagine. What I could imagined, I did not fear. The Other Half did a very good job supporting me and holding the pillow for me.
The shaking, warm legs soon followed and I knew walking was over for until after Bean was born. I ate dates, drank water, peed into the catheter, life was good! Wifi and iPhone, Facebooking and iQuran kept me busy. I updated my notes as the labour progressed.

By 10.30 am, I was induced. Bean was asleep, and so was I! Not much "improvement".

At 11.30 am, Dr. Seri had ordered for increase of induction (Prostin - a form of oxytocin). I felt more contractions and could not really sleep anymore.

Ten minutes later at 11.40 am, my water bag burst and the bear down feeling came hard and strong. Bean was pushing himself out without any pushing from me! I updated the nurse and asked for Dr. Seri to be there pronto!
The nurse confirmed that Dr. Seri was on her way back to the hospital (she got every Wednesday morning off and it was her son's birthday that day - how special!)

The sweetest, good natured lady beamed into the labour ward at 12.20 pm with a team of midwives and we started "pushing".
I was not executing it as well as I had imagined it in my head and Dr. Seri joked that I had a "tayar pancit" situation. She told me to get a drink, air zam zam if I had brought some along, and to reconfigure my mind to order the right muscles. No joke.

The epidural was so good - no pain but all pressure could be felt. I could feel Bean's journey outwards! I knew when and how to "do a big poo" after that reconfigure/recompose break. Praying always works!
The great joy was the laugh sound/word "ha". There was no "push" word used, much to my delight.

We laughed ha, ha, ha all the way until Bean was safely delivered at 12.39 pm. We did, we laughed him all the way out. No mistake about that.

The first words he heard outside the womb were "ha, ha, ha, how truly handsome your son is". What better way to celebrate someone's birthday than this? All joy, happiness and love!

On the business side of things: Throughout the birthing, Dr. Seri massaged my perineum area to lessen the tearing. She then stitched me up neatly. 

She looked like she was enjoying her sewing session instead of stitching up a patient (the scene of someone enjoying an embroidery session with cuppa tea comes to mind). The whole time, we made small talk.

As I was being put together again, The Other Half was coaxed into cutting the cord (he had never held scissors that huge before!) and Bean was taken to be "processed" next to us. APGAR scores were good, and he was warmed up, cleaned, swaddled and handed to The Other Half for Azan and a fatherly cuddle.

At 1 pm, Bean was placed to my right breast for some milk. He nursed and nursed so naturally. After a good feed of colostrum, he was off to the nursery for his vaccinations and session with Dr. Anthony James Mansul. 

(The yellow boots reminded me of Phuah Chu Kang)

I bet Bean had the loveliest time there was he looked so happy when he was returned to me at Ward 6C-09 later in the afternoon.

Not long after that, The Little Girl came with The Grandparents and she kissed her little brother. From that moment, I saw her blossom from my first baby into an elder sister. 

Tears welled in my eyes as my pregnancy had served like a cocoon period for The Little Girl to hibernate into a butterfly of a sister. Hormones!
The rest of the story, is as you already know.
We became a family of four on 19 June 2013.
Bean shares the same birthday as my BFF, and Dr. Seri's son. How special, indeed.
Alhamdulillah! JazakAllah! Shukran!
Dear Dr. Seri, 

Thank you so much for your lovely heart-felt care that feels more like friendship than a doctor-patient relationship, passion in practice and total devotion to patient wellness. May Allah s.w.t. bless you and your family abundantly.
Dear Dr. Syed Rozaidi Wafa bin Syed Hussain Wafa,

You are so good at what you do, and we are so blessed to have a good doctor like you. Thank you for making my birthing experience an enjoyable one. May Allah s.w.t. bless you and your family abundantly too.
Dear Dr. Anthony James Mansul,

Thank you for accepting Bean into your already packed and slightly crowded practice - just goes to show that you have such a big capacity to care and love the little ones. The bit you called my son a "rascal" from birth, I'd take as a term of endearment you have for all your little patients. Thank you, you will be seeing us! May God bless you and your family abundantly too.  


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