8th April 2017..The magical date that marks me on a new journey – the journey to motherhood.
As much as I have learnt so much from the death of my father & grandmother (you may read from my earlier posts), the birth of my son brings a lot of learnings to my life, too.
You may have read from my previous post about me attending AMANI Birth class. Yes, it was my dream to give birth normally with very minimal intervention. And, thankfully, my husband shared the same feeling. Infact, he always says he wants me to be happy, so whatever works best for me, is great for him. 🙂
Throughout my pregnancy, we have learnt a lot. We know that nutritious food works a long way. Dates & goat’s milk were part & parcel of my everyday diet. Sometimes, my husband would buy fresh milk with dates extract for me to consume. He was also very particular on my caffeine intake. Coffee & tea was absolute no-no when he was around!
Exercise-wise, I was not so worried. My job & nature of work requires me to walk a lot. Whereas on weekends, I love to go on a date to everywhere (especially shopping complex) with my husband. So walking wasn’t a problem. I even attended prenatal yoga class in the weekends, and practiced prenatal yoga at home as well every alternate days. It made feel strong & healthy throughout my pregnancy. Infact, I think all my walking routine & yoga made my uterus strong, as it was having strong practice contractions everytime I went for check up with my gynae. There was once that it felt so strong when my gynae did her usual check up, that she wrote a letter to my company’s management to give me only light duties due to premature contractions. She was concerned that the strong practice contractions may become true contractions & that the baby might deliver prematurely.
If there is one thing I learnt throughout my pregnancy, is that never be to worried about what your gynae said. Because, my gynae in particular, is a specialist in problematic pregnancies. Even a bit information gave her such a high concern. She already sees the worst outcome of every information. This is so different from my usual check up at clinic, which always see everything as normal 🙂
We’ve been through concerns such as blood sugar level (it’s at the border according to her, but normal clinic insists it was a normal reading). She was concerned that I may have a big baby due to my blood sugar level (but surprise, my baby turned out small!). But being a mother, I was very concern about it & totally changed my diet – 360 degree. Yup, my weight went down, and so did the growth of the baby. I was then advised to increase my protein intake. And as I reached Week 37 of pregnancy (which already considered full term), I was advised to get myself induced, as the baby growth was stagnant. I was partly worried, partly angry, as I was told earlier in pregnancy that I have to watch my diet to avoid big baby – now the concern is small & no growth? I told my gynae, give me 1 week to make decision. She was reluctant, but then she gave in, with the condition that I do CTG every alternate days, to ensure baby’s heartbeat is good. I agreed.
So, the hell with my diet & sugar intake. My husband & I decided to make me eat as much as possible, particularly on protein. No more dieting on carbohydrate, as big baby is not an issue anymore. Aside from carbohydrate, I don’t consume much sugar anyway. And I’m also a small eater. And of course, I came for CTG every alternate days, and the result was good. The key to it? Relax & think of happy things. I thought of my breathing yoga practice during CTG. And, babies usually love the sound of Quran & their father’s voice. My husband did just that, and the gynae was very happy for each CTG result.
Just in case our strategy to gain baby weight backfires, which means the doctor may want to induce the baby, I went for 2nd opinions from 2 other doctors – 1 a clinic doctor, another a gynae who supports gentle birth. As I went there, baby weight was not a concern anymore. It’s the amniotic fluid (AFI) reading that started to concern – it was 5.4 at that time. But the gynae who supported gentle birthing said it’s ok to wait within this week (week 37 turning to week 38), if the labour really comes, but to wait until next week may be a concern. So I know in advance what will be the concern of my hospital gynae, and I know this time it’s going to be tough to buy more time. Plus, I read online that if you’re near towards labour, your amniotic fluid will decrease. I still have hope!
So I’ve decided to triple up my exercises routine, since I’ve already considered full term. I decided to exercise everyday instead of every alternate days. And I doubled up my walking routine. And to show how I serious I am in my efforts to have a natural birth, I decided to take leave from work early. Whether birth starts normally or not, I will have to give birth that week anyway. And so I took leave starting 4th April 2017 (Tuesday), and started my rigorous exercises to induce labour naturally.
I exercised several times a day, incorporating walking, Yoga, Pilates, Bogilates & dance that’s suitable for late pregnancy, especially those that were meant to induce labour naturally.
And so, here comes Thursday – the hospital gynae appointment. Without going there yet, I already know what will be her concern. As expected, baby weight wasn’t an issue. It’s the AFI reading. And because it was low (the one checked at clinic was 5.4, now it has gone down to 3.3!), the gynae then proposed C-sec instead of induction, because induction will have stronger contraction than normal. Due to this, and the fact that the cushioning of amniotic fluid already low, afraid it might distress the baby & may lead to emergency C-Sec.
After a thorough discussion with my husband, we reluctantly agreed for c-sec, for our baby’s sake . The gynae suggested Saturday, 8th April 2017 at 9am for the operation to take place. The gynae allow us to come after Subuh prayer at the hospital to minimize our costs.We agreed.
I was so devastated, I asked my husband not to tell anyone yet as I was feeling devastatingly low. My husband was so good, he took 2 days off to accompany me before I have my c-sec on Saturday. He was pampering me to the max – bringing me to movies, good food & shopping to take off my mind. And when I started to feel sad, he said “sometimes what we want might not be good for us, and what we don’t want might be better. Accept the fate with open heart”.
Yes, probably c-sec was the best for me at that time. Probably not. I pray in my heart that Allah gives me the best in this birth, because I myself don’t know what’s best. And I also pray that if normal birth is the best for me, please make it happen before my c-sec.
And guess what? It just did. Just when the clock strikes 12 midnight on 8th April 2017, I felt like how I always feel during 1st day of period. It was very minor. I know people said contractions are like period pain, but I don’t want to give myself false hope. My c-sec was scheduled in 9 hours, and I was already fasting for the procedure.
At almost 1am, the feeling became stronger – I went to the toilet, thought it was because I wanted to pass motion. But the feeling was still there again. Went to toilet again, pass motion 2nd time, and the feeling was still there.
Ok, maybe now I started to worry & time the gap in between pains. It was rhythmic, about 3 minutes apart. My husband was worried and took me to the hospital. And guess what? I was already 2cm dilated!
It was quite confusing for us & the hospital, as my admission letter was stating that I was suppose to have my c-sec on the same day. Nevertheless, everyone was quite hopeful for me to deliver normally. And alhamdulillah, I did!
Baby Aydeen was born on 8th April 2017 at 12.54PM – normal birth, without induction, without C-sec. So much for C-Sec appointment at 9am! Ha ha.
Btw, Aydeen means intelligent. We think he’s specifically intelligent – he doesn’t want to be c-sec, so he decided to go out before that. He he.
Welcome to the world, Aydeen!