Hello my dear #lullyselbsquad !
Some of you may have seen on my personal IG that I've given birth three weeks back to a lovely baby girl. Thank you for all your well wishes and doas, Alhamdulillah I'm recovering rather well despite my very Long labour, yes 30++ hours.
In this blogpost, I'm going to be sharing my whole labour and pregnancy journey. I usually don't share my personal life too much but I thought this could benefit or encourage women out there who fear pregnancy and labour.
Rewind to 9 months ago, when I did a home test and it was positive; the pregnancy symptoms started to kick in. Unprepared and rather surprised that I was really pregnant, I thought it would be manageable and life will continue as per normal. I was so wrong. In fact, that was the beginning of another new life. I was the unlucky few who had bad morning sickness, nausea, and food aversions. I puked about 3 to 5 times a day, experienced very bad cramps and body aches, couldn't sleep at night and basically wasn't functioning as well.
There was one day, when my puking got so bad ( about 15 times ), I had to be rushed to A&E because I was dehydrated and couldn't hold down fluids. I puked everything I ate, even water, honey and dates. I was so weak, worried, helpless and kept thinking of the baby. Thankfully, after being checked by the doctor, I didn't have to be admitted as it was just really bad morning sickness. I felt better after getting fluid drips and some rest at the Changi Hospital. That was probably the worst week for the first trimester and I never wish for anyone to go through that. Amidst all the crazy morning sickness, what made it worse was I had to shift to my new place.
Most women will tell you that 2nd trimester is the best and I couldn't agree more. My morning sickness stopped like 100%, no more nausea, I could sleep as per normal and best part is you don't feel the weight of the belly yet. This is also the time to do your last couple holiday together/babymoon before the little one comes along. My dear hubby brought me to a beautiful resort at lombok where we spent time just relaxing, eating and enjoying the sea breeze.
Although most of my 2nd trimester was rather easy, I had a strange episode one morning. I was in school and after teaching my first lesson, I sat down feeling giddy. I lay my head on the table while trying to eat my banana. All of a sudden, I opened my eyes and found myself laying on the floor. Shocked and relief, I stood up and tried to make sense of what just happened. As I took my bag and walked out of the art room to head to the general office, I kinda realised I must have passed out for a couple of seconds. Thank God I didn't hurt myself and my baby was still kicking fine. Went back early that day and rested the whole week.
The last few months got tougher as it got nearer to the labour. My tummy felt heavy and my baby was constantly kicking. Sleep was such a torture that I resorted to pregnancy pillow which my best friend had lent me. The waiting game was real as I was reaching full term and felt very anxious about the labour.
Once I hit week 37, I was all ready to welcome the baby. Had her room done up and bought all the necessary things; diapers, milk bottle, some clothes, towel, etc. As a first time mom, its so easy to want to get everything, but a lot of people had advised me otherwise.
At this point, my husband and I decided to switch hospital. We were initially seeing our gynae at Parkway East but wasn't pleased with the consultation and we wanted a hospital that was pro natural. I also decided to engage a doula, to help me through my labour. I had taken birth classes from Kak Fad, a very experienced doula and once a paramedic, and was convinced that I wanted a natural labour ( as natural as possible ). Weeks before my due date, Kak Fad would take us, expecting moms, for what she calls Birth Walks. We would go to Changi Airport and walk for a few hours. Prior to her classes, I had the perception that pregnant women should not move so much, and should be resting a lot. I was so wrong. In fact, to achieve a smooth, natural labour, one should stay active, eat clean and be positive. I started doing squats and some yoga poses too to help open up my pelvis. I have to say that being pregnant made me exercise and stay healthy.
Ok, so lets get to the point here. It all started on 19th of October which is my actual due date!
3am - I started feeling contractions. Timed in and it seemed to be 3 to 5 mins apart, lasting for 1 min. I alerted my doula, Kak Fad.
6am - Kak Fad arrived. We started to go on the birth ball when contractions came in. Contractions still 5 mins apart.
9am - Had breakfast.
10am - Headed out to Changi Airport to walk. Occasionally when contractions came, strangers would come to me and offer help. I had Kak Fad, her co doula Wati and hubby with me so they would try to cover me and help manage the pain.
1pm - Had lunch at Nandos. By this time, my appetite got worse but I had to force myself to eat.
4pm - Back at home. I started to feel a little tired. Been awake since 3am, and I couldn't lay down for too long as contractions came. My back hurts the most. I told my husband to switch on Surah Maryam and upon hearing the versus being read, I started tearing. I was thinking to myself; all these 9 months I've been listening to this Surah, and the day has come for me to witness my little baby. It was a very emotional moment, something I cant quite understand till today.
6pm - Took a shower. Having warm water on the tail bone and back really helped to soothe the pain. I felt like anxious and thought to myself, how long will this take.
8pm - I started to feel really tired and if I recall correctly, I asked Kak Fad if we can go to the hospital. She just said, "not yet. " I knew it was still a long way to go. At that moment, I felt so thankful I have the doulas and my hubby around. If not for them, I would have gone to the hospital by now thinking that I was ready to birth.
11pm - Back to my room as the contractions got more intense. I still couldn't lay down but both kak Fad and Wati helped by placing lots of pillows around me so I could get some rest in between contractions. I started to have negative thoughts but I told myself to snap out of it. Kept praying for strength because I felt like I was losing it.
2am - I couldn't think and wasn't so aware of the situation. Really exhausted as I haven't slept for 24 hours. The poor doulas and hubby were also starting to feel tired. As we walked to the carpark, I had imagined that once I reached the hospital, I was all ready to give birth.
4am - Settled into NUH delivery suite. They did a VE and I was only 4cm dilated. My heart sank and I wanted to cry. All these hours from yesterday and I was only 4cm?!! I kept my cool and just continued to pray in my heart. As I was on wireless monitoring, I could still walk around to manage my pain. At this point, laying down was just too painful.
8am - Did another VE, and the doctor "pretended" my waterbag burst on its own but I could feel her poking it! I only progressed to 5cm. Again, I felt so disheartened and had no idea how to carry on with so much pain. Contractions got really strong now and my husband even suggested on epidural looking at me in this state. Thank god, my doula Kak Fad guided us through, giving us other options to manage the pain. I took a jab and later on went on to laughing gas. With this, I could lay down for a bit as it eases the pain.
12pm - My gynae came in and all I remember telling her was, " please lie to me even if I'm not fully dilated because I cant take it anymore and I feel like pushing!" She quickly did another check and smiled widely! " I don't have to lie to you! You're all ready my dear!! I can see her hair. " I wanted to cry because I was praying so hard the past few hours for a good progress.
1.30pm - The team of midwives and nurses came in to prepare me and the room for the arrival of my little one. I started pushing when contractions came and boy, an experience I will never forget.
2.37pm - Baby is out, safe and healthy !! Alhamdulillah. A burst of new energy kicked in as they handed the baby to me for a moment of skin to skin. Tears of joy and relief, I couldn't believe what happened. I always told myself, nah I'm not going to cry trying to be all tough, but its a natural reaction I think all mother go through. I kept thanking everyone in the room for making it happen. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay with baby for too long as I had to be pushed to the operation theatre to be stitched up. I had a third degree tear coz my cute baby came out with her head and hand.
The first night at the hospital with the baby was just so surreal. Alhamdulillah, I was recovering fine and could be discharged the next day.
Before I end this super long post, I want to thank my husband Ibrahim who stood by for the whole labour ( 30 ++ hours ). He lost his voice right after the baby came out. My 2 amazing douals, Kak Fad and Wati; they cheered me on, comforted me, massage me, all the support you need to get through the painful contractions. You may check out their page here to learn more about what they do. I recommend all expecting moms to at least go for birth classes and know what your body is going through and learn that you have the rights to birth how you want. Medical intervention may not be all you need, trust Allah and your body because we're built to do this.
Thank you to all my family, my parents, siblings, and friends who have sent their well wishes and prayers for my smooth delivery. It may be long, but I'm completely happy and pleased at how it has turned out.
And to those who read my long post today, thank you and I hope it has benefitted you one way or another.