Did I knew I was carrying a baby girl?

Prior to being pregnant, I did pray very hard for a daughter. I had an inkling that once I was pregnant – that it might be a girl but I have nothing solid to put my hat on.

Of course there were loads of old wives tales (tips) circulating around the WWW but I never did get a proper ultrasound session of which my sonographer/friend/medical officer was damn sure I’m going to have a girl. The Chinese birth chart predicted I was going to have a boy. So i can never be certain.

Retrospectively however – there were some clues that perhaps pointed towards me carrying a Nini.

  1. Horrible morning sickness as compared to my previous pregnancy with Ee. It was glaringly significant up to the point I had ketones in my urine which indicated how dehydrated I was
  2. I had a ‘natural glow’ which warranted no makeup whatsoever throughout my gestation. this however is in contrast to the belief that if you were to have a girl you would be grooming yourself really nice with makeup and what not. Also you’d be having zits all over the face – but I didn’t have any.
  3. I had less body hair. Somehow. It took longer than usual for me to have another shave of the legs and ‘friends’. It’s like the bulu bulu just don’t want to grow
  4. Sleeping on right lateral was more comfortable for me and that was something people tend to associate with having a girl.
  5. Simple instinct but just wouldn’t say it out loud

Hence you could imagine how excited I was when Nini came out. We have a girl!! LOL. GIRLS ARE JUST MAGICAL. Even if the baby came out as a Hakeem, I’d probably do a similar blogpost that highlights signs which points him out as a boy during my pregnancy. Ha ha ha. This is a merely for fun after all.

 

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Confinement Room

“You can make the TV room as your confinement area. Can play your Korean movie or watch Youtube there” – MR HUSBAND

It’s a new space in our house. Dimly lit. Equipped with a few sets of sofa, bookshelves and an air conditioning unit. It does lend a bit of privacy when you don’t feel like sitting outside in the living room. I guess you could say it’s a family area where you can just watch TV, read a book or just lie down. Cuma.. dapur jauh skit nak menapak to grab some snacks. Ha ha.

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Me watching one of RainbowHolics videos using the HObonichi

I usually use this room in the afternoon when Mom, my confinement lady wants to watch her Hindi Puteri Ular show on TV3. Although the family room TV is dominated by EE and his Hagemaru/Upin Ipin stuff – at least I can breastpump discretely whilst doing some journalling or blogging.

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My postpartum journal and washi tapes

Perhaps later I’ll share the very very very traditional confinement rituals I have to put up with on top off the more ‘modern’ aspect of it (once my Mom goes back to her house to fulfill her other motherly duties. HA ha ha).

Till then – just trying not to stress myself out. Smell the baby. Kiss my kids and take it one day at a time. InsyaAllah everything will be fine.

The Syazmins : Their Birth Story

It turned out that I have never wrote about Ee’s birth story. My previous blog entry (littlehealer) was last written in 2009. Ee only entered our lives in 2011.

  1. Ee (December 2011)

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Ee

I was a medical officer in the Anaesthetic Department when I conceived him whilst Mr Husband was in the Emergency Department in the same hospital. I did my checkup at the Staff Antenatal Clinic on a monthly basis, almost always on a postcall day. In short, there weren’t much issue in my antenatal history except for recurrent Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). And a threatened miscarriage at 10 weeks of pregnancy. He survived.

Ee was with me during my oncalls in ICU and also in the Operating Theatre. I was worried of threats like infection and biohazard stuff. I was once exposed to a patient with suspected meningitis and had to take an intramuscular jab as prophylaxis. It hurt. Apart from that – it’s just the usual polytrauma, emergency LSCS cases, intrabdominal injury stuff coming through the OT door.

Despite the work related hectic lifestyle – I still managed to balloon up from a booking body weight of 47KG to 62KG and Ee came out as a 2.8KG baby.

It happened in the early morning of 0330AM when I felt a ‘pop’ and gush of water coming out in between my legs. I was not in pain so I proceeded to the toilet to kind of check on myself and applied a sanitary pad. Only then did I woke up Mr Husband and together we collected my birth bag and made way to the delivery suite. I was 9 days early and was in fact still scheduled to provide anaesthetic services in the Eye OT the next day.

Somehow I felt safe that night knowing that the O&G and Anaesthetic Team on duty were very senior and experienced in their respective fields. It was also a priviledge to have Mr Husband with me at all times as he clerked me in, inserted my branula and urinary catheter, checked my vaginal opening and for the finale – was given the opportunity to scrub in during my C-Section and see to the baby.

I was leaking basically shit from Ee. Although the amniotic fluid was moderately stained, subsequent monitoring of the baby’s condition using the CTG was not assuring. We were given the option to induce or opt for C-section. We both chose to have a C-section – we were not brave enough to take the risk. And of course risau sakit 2 kali.

Ee came out crying and post-operatively my recovery was well… OK. I have to admit the pain does linger for quite a bit but I did have emotional issues to deal with. I was lucky then that Mr Husband was granted paternity leave for 7 days. He was a great help with the baby especially during feeding times and changing diapers at night. We had to supplement with formula because I was not making enough milk early for the baby.

Part of the factor could be because I had a C-section but part of it could be due to me the mother not feeling relaxed enough to produce more milk. I mean, we had loads of visitors dropping by the house in the first 2 weeks. That crucial time one needs to rest and recuperate and find their footing with a new family member in the house. Although I appreciate the kind gestures of visiting and offering advices – I think one should give space for the family to just settle in and get their bearings right and limit visits to immediate family members only instead of the whole kampung or something. I was really really stressed at the time. TRUST ME. I almost hempas Ee to the mattress.

Now Ee is all grown up and well. Rarely sick and very obedient. Technically the apple of our eye for almost 6 years until Nini came along. Well. He is still our apple.

2. Nini ( November 2017)

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NIni

This time I’m a medical officer in the Emergency Department whilst Mr Husband is a postgraduate student in Public Health. My routine checkups are done at the nearby Klinik Kesihatan Ibu & Anak and well.. it could be an age factor as I not only have recurrent UTI but also anaemia in pregnancy. The later stages of my pregnancy also revealed myself as having oligohydramnios which means very little amount of amniotic fluid for the baby to float around in the uterus. Which kind of explains that extra pain I experienced down below when I walk or sit too long. Especially when the baby moves.

Nini and I braved through our little storm in the Emergency Department. Sometimes its a trauma case, others could be a respiratory problem. But what I fear the most are well – undisclosed infections like Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis and kids that come with rashes. Had a few scares but the rest as they say – is Tawakkal to Allah. Occasionally I’d have to perform a postmortem on a body brought in dead. Not my cup of tea but sometimes it has to be done.

This time around my weight gain was more controlled. A booking weight of 61KG to 69.5Kg upon delivery and Nini came out as a 2.95KG baby girl.

It was like any other routine appointment day. Only this time I get to see the Specialist for the 2nd time. On my 1st visit – she did caution me that my liquor was on the low side but she’ll give me a chance to hopefully deliver early before my next appointment in 3 days. I had 2 SWEEP done on that 1st visit – which hurt like hell – my toes were curling during the simple procedure. I almost vowed not to have another intercourse for the rest of my life. However my ‘opening’ was still small, about 1.5CM on the 2nd visit with the liquor index getting lower. The fact that the baby had a cord round her neck got me worried eventhough her CTG was Reactive. Mr husband helped to decide – DON’T TAKE RISK. WHAT TO DO. CAESARLAH – So yes.. I was immediately admitted to the ward for a Caesarean section.

This time it was a bit tough. Mr Husband was not with me during the birth journey. I had my branula and catheter inserted (of a big size with minimal LA gel) by inexperienced personnel. And failed during first attempt. *cried blood but persevered* up to the point that I was damn relieved when my spinal block went in. Not to mention the countless times I was stripped half naked to ease the procedures being done in a crowd of people and men that I recognise. I just feel that its weird to be in just your skin in front of people you know as opposed to complete strangers but well… hadap je lah. After all – they guy who gave me the spinal was so good – my Bromage score was still 3  – despite rested in recovery for 30 mins. Thank you adik. 

Post operatively I was struggling with breastfeeding and caring for Nini as a whole. This time Mr Husband is not entitled to have Paternity Leave and I was against him taking his personal leave for we may not know what he may need them for later. After all – thankfully his classes that week were spaced out and some were even cancelled to our relief. It does irk me however – when on the second day of delivery his supervisor made a remark reprimanding and enquiring why he did not attend that ONE session that day and reminds him that he does not have paternity leave.

LIKE COME ON LAH – aku caesar kot.. budi bicara skit boleh. He had always attended your other lectures prior to this. I was so pissed off. And because Mr Husband sometimes have early morning clasess – I try not to wake him up during the night to tend to Nini because he needs to be well rested for his daily commute on his motorbike, a 90 mins journey to campus for class. So yes, its a struggle to feed Nini with a painful abdomen at night. Tapi bertabahlah… 

Since I’m having my confinement at my own home – there is less visitors. The only stress I get is from the confinement practices itself (some of them) which hinders efficient breastfeeding. Like application of minyak muyan to your whole body, the selection of food and the too often, herbal baths. Nini refuses to latch,(smell factor?) so I have to express my milk. Rasa nak pitam using the machine for the first time but it got easier. The suction force was I felt – kuat sangat but tolerable I guess as opposed to Nini biting on me.

Nini is now at Day 8 of life – fighting jaundice. Grrr.. beraklah byk2 anak oiii.. perhaps later I can share stuff from my Postpartum Journal. the frustrations, the joy and what not…

Projek Mega 2017

This is the 3rd Projek Mega (PM) we’ve had over a course of 5 years. That is since we bought this second hand house and settled in.

The 1st PM involved constructing a car porch which could fit 2 cars and installing an autogate as well. We had the front door of the house modified as well instead of using only the sliding door as the entrance. We put tiles at the backyard too as it was quite taxing to maintain the growing grass.

The 2nd PM –  we added a so called en-suite room at the back of the house.

And finally this 3rd PM – perhaps the one with biggest budget of all involving 2 small contractors.

  • removed old, musty surau-like carpets from all the rooms and replaced it with DiY ‘wooden’ floors
  • changed the bathroom tiles and squatting toilets to sitting ones. fitted 2 bathtubs as well for that SPA-like experience
  • build a new kitchen and dining area with better lighting and more kitchen cabinets. Mr husband says its supposed to ignite that cooking spirit in me. Furthermore, Ee doesn’t really like to eat outside anymore especially when its already dark. He prefers home delivery or Mom’s lousy cooking.
  • replaced the grass with brick stones – with the hope the grass and weeds will not grow in between the bricks. Should we wish to grow a new tree, we’d just remove one of the bricks and make it a planting patch.
  • beautified the porch and the front gate
  • created a space for a reading nook

I wished I took more pictures for the Before and After effect but I was too swamped with work and of course, concentrating more on my pregnancy. As of now – we are only left with installing back our kitchen cabinet. And perhaps servicing our air conditioners in the house.

After that – it’s just cleaning the house from dust and all sorts of clutter as we welcome our little Syazmin into this world. Fingers crossed I’d get more done this weekend.

 

Me and secondary infertility

Eversince Datuk Siti announced her successful pregnancy after a few attempts of IVF – people are starting to share stories of their own infertility journey. Which is good. The public is more aware of their options in trying for a child. It would be nice of course to also bring Prof Dr Imelda’s concern regarding these health facilities to at the same time, provide neonatal intensive care services for expecting parents of multiple pregnancies instead of letting government facilities figure it out once the babies arrive.

We too experienced secondary infertility. Did IVF came into mind? Yes, in fact Mr Husband suggested we give it a go at a local private Obs and Gynae clinic. I was the hesitant one. Because although cost is not an issue – its the commitment and emotional roller coaster involved that I’m worried about. Not to mention the invasive examination and procedures I will need to go through later on.

Yup, still hesitant even after 5 years of ‘trying’. Meaning frequent ‘wrestling’ sessions even though we love to sleep more after a tiring day at work with our invented method of teknik takungan. *rolleyes* Diligent calorie counting and attempts at exercise to get that optimum BMI to increase chances of conceiving. Lots of sedekah. Mountains of prayers and dua’s on the prayer mat at early hours of the morning and also through friends going for Hajj. I even made a promise to Mr Husband that if we have a successful pregnancy, I will file for a transfer to a different and better work environment. With the hope that this effort will have redha laki. Ha ha ha.

We were close to finally getting an intervention at the facility early this year when boom – I was tested positive in my urine test. Only Allah knows how relieved I was of not having to go through the journey of speculum examination, for instance.

So this is essentially a precious, wanted pregnancy. My experience of carrying this little munchkin is also way different from how it was with my firstborn. He/she is currently at 35 weeks and I really hope that we’d make it through till the end. While we can try our best to make this a safe pregnancy – only Allah knows what is happening inside the womb in detail.

May the baby be safe from the viruses I’ve come across during my working hours. May the baby be hindered from all the negative emotions and thoughts I encountered in my daily life. May the baby grow to be well and healthy. I can tell that my firstborn is very excited waiting for his/her arrival that he’s already picked a name for both gender. Ha ha.

In fact, may I also be safe throughout the delivery so I could see this gift that we’ve been waiting for such a long time. InsyaAllah. Amin.