Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One of the best experiences in life

Saturday, 6th December 2008.

The whole day's incident kept on rewinding vividly in my head like a video. I never knew giving birth would be one of the best experiences in life. When it comes to labor and birth, most people would talk about agonizing and scary stories, be it their experience or other people's. But really, it wasn't that bad. In fact, it wasn't scary at all seperti yang digembar-gemburkan. Sure it's painful, but it's the kind of pain that comes with inner sensations that is indescribable.

Even before I was pregnant, I have decided that I want a normal and drug-free birth. And thankfully, that decision didn't change when I got pregnant until the day I gave birth, despite the gory stories of the birthing process. One thing I've learn, if you surround yourself with everything positive (attitude, surroundings, feelings, people, etc), InsyaAllah things will work out fine no matter what it is - and vice versa. I tried my best to avoid from getting carried away hearing about those frightening stories and tried to focus on easy labor. It ain't easy bcoz all this while I have scary labor stories embedded in my head. But all of those changed when I read this book: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

I found this book while searching for information on Bradley Method, and I would HIGHLY recommend reading it, especially if you're pregnant (or planning to get pregnant) for the first time and you don't know what to expect. This book has helped a lot in changing my perspective about labor and birth; about the true capacity of a female body. It's mind-blowing!

Anyways, back to my labor story.

It all started at around midnight. I was, as usual, had my eyes glued in front of the laptop screen, scheduling some entries for my Sales Blog. My husband on the other hand, was fast asleep. As I was typing away, I felt a menstrual-like cramp. At first I thought it was just another Braxton Hicks' contraction so I just continue doing whatever I was doing at that time. A few minutes later, it came again. And again. And again. I wasn't sure how many minutes apart, so I decided to time it while blogging:


At about 4.30am, I decided to go to bed, thinking that I will need the energy if I were to give birth later on that day. But I couldn't sleep. Each contraction was about 10 minutes apart and they became stronger and more intense. I was like, "Is this it?". I know contractions that become stronger and closer together is one of the signs of labor, but I was still unsure whether that was true labor or just a false alarm. It was after all, my first-time experience so I didn't know what to expect. I prayed silently for other signs to come - bloody show or water break - before deciding to go to the hospital. So there I was, lying in bed doing the breathing techniques that was taught during the antenatal class. At about 6ish am, my husband woke up for his Subuh prayer. I told him about my regular contractions and he wanted to go to the hospital right away, but I refused. At least not till I get the absolute labor sign.

7.30 am
Blood-tinged mucus. Yes! I was in true labor after all. Hubby quickly took his shower; I just brushed my teeth and washed my face. I was excited and jittery all at the same time and wasn't sure if it's really happening. I'm gonna meet my little one soon! Thank God we managed to pack the hospital + baby bags a day before.

8.00 am
Grabbed some breakfast at McD drive-thru. I had Sausage McMuffin with Egg and told my husband that the next time I get to eat it again is after a month+'s time. Hubby just laughed.

8.10 am
Hubby forgot to bring his laptop, so balik rumah kejap. I recited Surah Yasin sambil diselang-seli with breathing on the way to the hospital. Contractions come and go, and they were getting stronger each time.

8.30 am
Arrived at the hospital. We were led to the labor room and I got changed into a labor outfit. The nurse checked whatever it was that needed checking and did the Cardiotocography (CTG). Everything is normal, Alhamdulillah. I had breakfast - again.

9ish am
My OB (Dr. Khamsiah) came in. I was already 5cm dilated. Another 5cm to go, which means a few more hours. I didn't know what to do, so I recited Al-Ma'thurat while waiting for the next thing to happen.

11.00 am
Had early lunch. I was 7cm dilated and the contractions were stronger than everrr! My husband coached me with the breathing technique... Breathe in. Hold. Breathe out.

I lost track what time it was. I think it was almost 2pm. Contractions came every 2 minutes like tidal waves and I could not concentrate on my breathing anymore. My husband kept on reminding me that the pain of contraction is for the cervix to dilate so just surrender and don't fight it. He recited a few surah lepas tu tiup kat my face. I could smell the fish curry he ate for lunch but didn't care. In fact it felt nice and I told him to keep on doing it. He also massaged my lower back and somehow that helped to ease the pain. My MIL came inside the labor room too, patting me and told me everything is going to be alright.

I felt a slight leakage. My waters have broken. The midwife came in. I was fully dilated now. I told her I feel like taking a dump and she said it was time to push. So I pushed with all my might and boy it felt soooo gooood, I could do it all day! The pain went away instantly. I wasn't sure if I was doing it right (bcoz seriously macam meneran nak buang air besar jer) but the midwife and my OB kept on saying "Okay sayang, push lagi. Pandai dia push.. Dah nampak rambut baby... lagi sikit..." and after a few big pushes, out came the baby's head!

3.34 pm
Sharifah Ayra Adelia was born :)
Yup, that's her name.

My husband managed to snap pictures of the whole birthing process of our baby, from the "crowning" moment...

...right until she was cleaned!

He had the honor of cutting the umbilical cord too. My husband who witnessed the whole birthing process said it was so interesting, like watching the Discovery Channel! I wish we had it on tape.

The next day, I was discharged but we decided to readmit to the hospital later in the evening bcoz there was nobody at home. My family was still in Amsterdam. So we were just lodging at the hospital for 3 more days. Rasa best pulak duduk hospital! ;p

Syukur Alhamdulillah, everything went on smoothly.

Anyway, Sharifah Ayra Adelia means "respectable and righteous".

Lil Ayra sleeping soundly after breastfeeding

I now feel complete :)

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She slipped off her pink stilettos at 5:00 PM |