my babies

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Maryam Amelia, the Birth Story

24 hours prior to actual labour, I felt some mild contractions that were irregular but were getting stronger. I couldn't sleep through the night, so I spent the night packing the hospital bag, thinking labour might be near. After subuh and throughout the day I did some walking and a lot of waiting. It was very frustrating. The contractions were there, but very irregular. My husband already took the day off (it was Friday) and I felt guilty that it was just false labour. By 9pm that night, I was exhausted from having had no sleep, and went straight to bed.

Saturday, 15 June 2013 

At 12.30am, I was woken up by a strange heavy pressure in my lower belly. It felt like the baby's head was right down there. Then around 1am strong contractions started regularly, every 7-8 mins. By 2am it was much stronger every 5 mins. I still hesitated about going to the hospital because of the false labour the day before. I thought this could be false labour again. My husband insisted that we go anyway. He loaded the car and by 2.20am we were out the door.

My husband played the reading of Surah Maryam on the radio while in the car, to calm me down. The road was clear, and he was driving like a maniac :) About 200m from the hospital, we were stopped by a police car. He told them "Saya nak bawak isteri saya ke hospital ni!" The officer took one look inside the car and quickly told us to go...haha..

Around 2.50am we arrived at the hospital ER. It was calm and quiet, I refused the wheelchair, to the nurse's bewilderment and walked to the labour room. At the labour room, the nurse monitered my contractions on the CTG machine for half an hour, then did one VE. I was 5 cm dialated, and she concluded that my contractions were 'weak to moderate'. I insisted to get off the bed and walked around  the room. She was hesitant but I told her that Dr Seri already signed my birth plan for a simple natural labour, and I specified that I wanted to be mobile, did not want any pain medication, CTG machine or IV fluids. Contractions were getting stronger at this point and I kept feeling like I needed to empty my bladder. I walked around, ate dates and drank water, and holding onto things when contractions came. I had read about Quranic childbirth during pregnancy and remembered about the verses in Surah Maryam, about how Maryam gave birth to Nabi Isa;

{19:23} And the throes (of childbirth) compelled her to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! {19:24} Then (the child) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you. {19:25} And shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates. {19:26} So eat and drink and refresh the eye. Then if you see any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent Allah, so I shall not speak to any man today.

Around 4am, the nurse asked me whether I really didn't want pain medication because if I did then I could sleep, and she will come check on me again at 6.30am. I said no, and asked if she could help me put on the hospital's fancy new tens machine instead. She didn't really know how to put it on either, and while we were all reading the tens manual and trying to figure out how to use the tens machine, 2-3 very strong contractions came and suddenly I was soaked to my feet! My water broke. This was the first time my water broke by itself. I was relieved, thinking 'oh good this time nobody's going to insert a knitting needle in me to break my water!'.

All of a sudden the contractions were just a minute or two apart and they were very, very strong. I already felt the urge to push. I got on the bed. The nurse ran out to call Dr Seri. The contractions came very strong and I could feel the baby coming. This time without any pain medication to numb me out, I was hyperaware of everything happening with my body. I felt the baby's head going down and pushing out. I yelled out to the nurse 'Nurse!! Baby nak keluar dah ni! Saya nak push!'. It didn't matter to me if the doctor came or not. The nurses kept telling me don't push! put your feet down! You're only 8cm dialated! I couldn't care less. I KNEW the head was already down there and she was coming NOW! My husband was there the whole time holding my hand, saying comforting words to me ; astagfirullah, astagfirullah...relax, relax...breathe, breathe...

Luckily Dr Seri came very quickly. She said, "Tell me if you feel like pushing". I told her "I want to push now! and can I put my feet up now?" (as in pulling the knees up towards my body in a semi squat) She quickly put on her apron and told me "yes you can put your feet up. The reason they won't let you before was because I wasn't here yet. You can push a bit too, if you felt like it". She didn't have to tell me, I was already pushing a bit at every contraction, because the urge to push was so strong, and I knew it was time despite being told repeatedly not to push.

She got in position and soon in the next contraction, the baby's head was out. There was no "push now 1,2,3" from the birth team whatsoever. I simply released and breathed her out. Soon the next contraction came and plup! out came her shoulders. Within seconds she was in my arms.  I had requested for cord clamping to be delayed, so Dr Seri waited for it to stop pulsating while I immediately breastfed the baby. My husband cut the cord, and soon more contractions came and with a short push the placenta was out. Perinium intact, so I didn't need any stitches. The baby was born at 4.37am, her weight was 3kg.

It was a quick, simple, natural birth. What a beautiful experience. My husband had wanted the name Maryam, and as I looked at this tiny bundle in my arms, and the fresh memory of Surah Maryam intertwined with her birth, I knew, this was her name;


Maryam Amelia.

I love you.


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