Monday, December 17, 2018

Finally, My Son Is Here!

Red droplets of spots inside the toilet bowl stared back at me. I was on my doctor's appointment when I had the urge to urinate. Toilets have became my second home ever since I got pregnant. The red spots reminded me of my menses. It had been awhile since I last saw it. However, I am certain this was no menses. Its time. My baby is coming.
Me as penguin pregnant mama!

Excitedly, I almost half ran back to the clinic. This can be quite a feat, for I looked like a very fat penguin with twins inside me. Quite a few assumed I had twins on my body frame. 

I expected the nurse to confirm my assumption based upon my reading that it was one of the strongest sign of labour. The nurse's eyes rested upon my eager face, with a half shake of her head. She has this kindly grandmother eyes look which made me feel good somewhat. She shared that it may be a false alarm. She knew of mothers who can still continuously bleed for a week before giving birth. So, better not keep my hopes up.

What?! Bummer.  I was looking forward to giving birth. The added weight had given me a lot of strain, backache, pelvic ache, all kinds of ache that I never thought could exist in my body especially the daily pain. It can sometimes be very painful to walk, to sit, to climb up the stairs and so forth. Usually I don't complain about it. I would tell myself often that this was part of the pregnancy process. To accept it. To acknowledge. Moreover, this was not a forever state of being. 

During the waiting, I decided to WhatsApp my friend, Eileyn on the recent update. She shared that something odd happened during her meditation. That she thought she heard some singing. Nothing creepy on that. Singing that went on for a few minutes. Suddenly it dawned upon Eileyn - "I think he is coming out!. The singing I think from angels. I was going to read genesis..to start bible from beginning. But decided to read Christ birth instead. That was when I received your message. But I feel like the 3 wise men...lol..." I pondered on her words and reflected on the nurse's assessment. Well, in time we would know the truth.

Then it was time to meet the doctor.  I went inside his office with my husband, sharing with the doctor of my symptoms. He evaluated me and recommended me to go to a certain floor, ( which I have forgotten which floor it is situated now) to do cardiotocography.  This was to monitor my contractions and of my baby's heartbeat

After an hour of evaluation, my doctor interpreted its reading. It was confirmed - I am in the beginning stages of contractions. ( Oh, yes, babyyy) However, there was a dip in my baby's heartbeat once or twice during that hour. The doctor mentioned it can happen sometimes. It can be a concern. He decided it is best to induce the labour now. He was going to prepare the nurse to make arrangements of such. 

That was when I decided to do the opposite.

I asked him whether I could have my dinner first. It was almost 7pm or slightly over if I remembered it correctly. I was also starting to grow hungry as well. I don't fancy myself being stuck in labour for up to 48 hours. My sister-in-law who had previously given birth was in labour beyond 24 hours. 

His lips tensed a little while his voice was calm. "Yes, you can. An hour of dinner. Then back here."

I smiled. We left the hospital. On our way to my favourite Japanese restaurant to have an enjoyable meal before huffing and puffing!

Three hours later, we came back to the hospital. Once more hooked up to the cardiotocography; mentally I told myself to breathe. Chill. Baby is coming. Remember to breathe during pushing my baby out. 

While waiting for my doctor, my husband decided to go to the payment counter to pay a deposit.

Ten minutes or more later, the doctor came in. His face intently onto the results paper. A slight frown could be seen. He looked up to me, with a serious face. Usually he has a smiling face.

"You are to go for Caesarean now."

I lost my mental preparation. From the peaceful mental zone, I was back to reality - what?!?!

What do you mean by Caesarean!?
"Results revealed your baby's heartbeat dropped even lower than the first evaluation. It may only happened once. However,  I don't like it. You are to go for Caesarean."

After I recovered from my initial shock, I stood my ground.

"I want to decide with my husband."

My doctor's face looked surprise. I assumed patients rarely disagreed with him. For a minute, we were like in a ping pong match, refusing to let our guard down. Both of us were like broken records. He was insistent of going ahead with the surgery whereas I was insistent of waiting for my husband to return to the room.

In the end, he gave in. He impatiently called the nurse in. He asked the nurse to look for my husband and get him back in the room.

Soon, my husband returned to the room. The doctor explained the scenario. We asked for privacy to make a decision. When the doctor left, my husband asked me what do I think.  Was the doctor trying to make more money by suggesting Caesarean? He was actually not my doctor. My original doctor was a female doctor who was away on a break, unable to come back on time for my due date. My case was temporarily parked under his care. I am unfamiliar with this doctor. Although I have heard that he is pro-natural as well.

Well, in times of chaos and decision making (especially fast ones), I decided to pray. Prayers always help to give me a sufficient level of calmness. We prayed together to God. Asking Him to guide us.

As my body became less tensed, my breathing easier and not as rapid, a strong urge rose in me - go for the Caesarean. I hesitated because this was contrary to our birth plan. I asked a few more times and wait. Each time, I have a strong feeling to go for Caesarean. I shared with my husband on this.

We called the doctor in and gave him our decision. He looked relieved this time. Earlier, he has this look that he was certain I was going to make a big mistake.

What came next made me think of Quicksilver; people moving around me with documentations and short briefs on what to expect during Caesarean. For those who are unfamiliar with Marvel characters, Quicksilver is a silver-haired lightening speed mutant.

An anesthetist came in to prepare me for epidural spine injection. Although he offered it to me as an option, his demeanour revealed he felt assured I would say 'yes'.

Sorry to disappoint him.

With a startled look, he asked me "Why?". I insisted  on general anesthetics (G.A.). When he realised I am firm on this, he inquired when was my last meal. By then it was three hours later. Next question - was it a heavy meal? My guilty look on my face gave him the answer.

With a frown, he said it was advisable to have at least 6 hours apart before G.A. Otherwise higher chances of regurgitating my last meal while under G.A. And if that happened, it would result in my lungs filled with vomit. I would need to be in ICU to stabilise. Estimated cost per night in ICU would be RM1,500.00. He felt on average would require  two to three days in ICU.

If only he could see how my hands temporarily shook at the fee he quoted. Started to sweat a little, not because of the pain but at the thought of having to spend RM1,500 per night in ICU. Mentally I was calculating. We are not rich people. I have my own savings for this event.

I tried to calm myself down by slowing down my breaths. Mentally I said a short prayer and wondered on my options. When I think of epidural, I have a very strong NO sensation in my entire body. At first I assumed maybe I am being prejudiced. I tried a few more times. Each time it was a big no.

Decided to trust my instincts, I insisted on my decision. Although the anesthetist was smiling to me, some part of his facial expression revealed his truth - why was this woman so stubborn.

Once all the necessary information was briefed by the nurse and I signed all the necessary documentations, it's time for OT. ( Operating Theatre)

I was relocated onto a moveable bed, and off I went directed by the nurses to the destination.  They really moved the bed fast.  I tried to focus on my breaths and not allowed the anxious movement around me to distract. My husband keeping up in pace with a worried look.

When reach to a corner, it was time to part.

Our eyes met one last time before going on my way to O.T.

"Pray to God."

My husband's last words to me.

I kept up on my mental, emotional and physical focus on God. I kept telling God please protect me especially my baby.

When I was in the O.T., one of the nurse put a mask on my nostril. She advised me to breathe. I did. There was a short conversation. Then I was out.

The next thing I know, I woke up to a slightly wobbly ceiling. The mask was still strapped on my face. I was starting to feel nauseous. Weakly, I removed it.

"She's awake."

The first face I saw in front of me was the anesthetist.

"Everything went surprisingly well. Had expected may have problems."

Butterflies are a symbol of hope & life. These photos
showed my hand interacting with a wild butterfly on a
hill in Lenggung, Perak, Malaysia. My new life I had been

carrying finally born into this world.
Then he left me. I remembered I went huh?? I could not process his words at that time but mentally repeated his words to memory.

I was wheeled back to my room. My baby nowhere with me. I understand he is safe. I am safe.

Grateful for the doctors, nurses and God for looking out for me.

I did not expect that a month after my son's birth, I would face the biggest challenge of my life.

My baby finally here!




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