So here’s what happened.
On the 1st of September, I went for my scheduled check up along with the husband. As usual, our turn came, we sat in for the initial chit chat with the doctor who was happily noting down the fact that I was already halfway towards 38 weeks.
She then proceeded to assess me to see if there’s any progress that’s moving me towards the birth of the baby. Surprise surprise!! She noted that I was already 1.5cm dilated and there was even some slight show of.. err.. blood. Then as she was talking to me my stomach tensed up several times and she exclaimed that those were contractions! However I wasn’t feeling any discomfort whatsoever much to her surprise. Heck, I didn’t even know they were contractions! My belly had been doing the whole tense up thingy for the past few days prior to my appointment but I thought they were just braxton hicks contractions since they were not accompanied by any pain whatsoever!
She contemplated whether to let me go home or send me straight to the labour room. In the end, she sent me home and told me to walk around a lot and admit myself to the labour room at 5pm. So the husband and I stepped out of the doctor’s office with mixed feelings. I was excited, nervous and scared shitless.
Called up my mom and told her the news, then we went home to settle some last minute stuff. Uploaded my last few pictures as a preggo babe taken the night before, emailed some work out, the husband even managed to sell of my car (yes, i am now car-less), packed up our hospital bags and at about 15 minutes to 5pm, off we went to the hospital. I was still in no pain. I was walking around just fine.
We got to the hospital, looked around for a parking space, then went up to the labour ward. Checked myself in, went to my designated labour room and waited around for the doctor to come. It felt more like I was going for a holiday (macam check-in kat hotel) than going to pop out a baby into the world. I was probably in denial and trying to calm myself down.
So the waiting game began. I changed into my oh-so-sexy green hospital gown and propped myself comfy on the bed. The husband came in a few minutes later after getting the registration details down. After that, I told him to go get food for buka puasa since there might be limited time later. So he packed up some food and came back soon after.
A nurse came in to take my vitals and put strapped this headphone like thingamijigs onto my belly to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and the contractions. After about 45 minutes later, a couple of nurses came in and out of the room, taking the monitor readings, taking off the monitor that was strapped to my belly, and another came in to give me an enema.
What’s an enema you say? Well they use this bulb syringe like thingy and squirt some medicated liquid up your ass and in a few minutes later, you make a dash to the toilet and empty pretty much whatever it is you’ve been hoarding inside your bowels. Gross, I know.
We waited around some more and even played a round of snakes & ladders (which the husband won). Then the doctor came in not long after to check up on me. She asked if I was feeling any pain or discomfort, to which I said no. I think she found it hard to believe as she said the monitor noted that my contractions were really regular and close and spiked up to more than a hundred.
After a bit more of probing around (I swear you lose all your dignity when you’re giving birth) she decided to break my waterbag. The breaking of the waterbag didn’t hurt, but the whole “checking to see how much you’re dilated” sure did. I felt this surge of water come out of me like “whoooossshhh” and yeah, the thought that crossed my mind was “eeewww….”
Soon after, I started feeling major discomfort which crept up to be major pain. I just held on the the husband each time the pain came. Even as he was breaking fast, he had one hand holding mine while the other was shoving food into his mouth. Poor thing, I think that was the most unenjoyable buka puasa he ever had.
Things pretty much became a blur to me after that. I remember asking for pain relief so they gave me a jab of something. I think I asked for epidural, but some smart ass told me to try the jab first (I don’t know if it was the nurse or the husband or some voice in my head). So a nurse came and gave me the jab which was supposed to help make me feel a bit drowsy but still alert enought to feel the pain at a tolerable level. Soon after the jab, I was already like some drugged up junky. I was in pain, delirious and was talking gibberish.
Among the nonsense I blurted out according to the husband was :
“I’m allergic to chicken” and “The picture in that powerpoint slide has to go lower”
The husband said if my bosses knew about this, they must be so proud. Tengah sakit nak beranak pun cakap pasal kerja, hahahahaha!
I got my epidural too, but unfortunately for me, it didn’t help take away the pain. See, the epidural helps to take away pain caused by contractions. The pain I was feeling was not just due to contractions, it was actually due to little Alisha’s position. Her head was tilted up thus pushing the back of my cervix and my pelvic bones apart. She wanted out, but my body was not yet ready. I haven’t even reached 4cm. I felt the need to push but the nurses wouldn’t let me. My brain was totally messed up then. I had to fight against what my body wanted to do.
Things got really intense throughout the night. The only thing that helped me survive through it all was really my husband. Everytime I felt the wave of pain coming, I’d grip his hand really hard and if I felt that he wasn’t there, I’d panic and call out for him. He had a gas mask in his hand at all times and whenever I was overcome with pain, he’d put it on me and talk me into calming down. His voice was my sole line of survival.
At one point, I thought there was another man in the room to which I found out later it was the anesthetist. I thought I was just being dillusional again, heheheh..
As I said, I can’t remember much of what happened but finally after what felt like an eternity to me, the doctor came in and said that we were ready. I was so elated at that point!! ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS PUSH HER OUT!!! Somehow I was more alert at that point, not in the hazy floaty mode which I was before. The nurses propped up the bed, and moved me into position.
Of course my initial reaction was “Now??”
Which panicked people a bit as they were still setting up, “Wait Liyana, just a little while!”
Then they told me to push and that was exactly what I did. Nope, I didn’t go to any antenatal classes whatsoever, I just instinctively knew what to do. With the first push, her head was out. The doctor told the husband to adhan and he did. So the first thing Alisha heard as she was coming out was the call to prayer by her father. I don’t think there’s any moment more beautiful than that in my entire life experience 🙂 With just another two pushes, at exactly 2.42am, little Alisha was out of my belly and into this beautiful world we call home.
Alhamdulillah was all I could think. They placed her on me and I just stared at this beautiful wet wiggling tiny person. It was like a dream. I looked at the husband and asked “Is this my baby?”
He was just smiling the biggest smile ever.
I don’t quite know what happened in the minutes after that, I think they took her away to wash her up for a bit but then later put her back on me and told me to give Alisha her first feed. Another instinctive thing that I did. I knew where to put her, and she knew what to do.
After that came the whole tidying up process (expelling the placenta, the stitching up etc) and then they left me and the husband for some quiet time together. There I was, with my very own little family and at that moment in time, we were the happiest people on earth.