Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Arrival of Dana Sufiya - Part 3 (The Reunion)

the chronologies continues...


Those nurses were very quick in their job. They skilfully changed my gown, lifted me from side to side until they succeed in and then helped me with the sanitary napkin. I was then moved from the operation bed to the bed I was wheeled in earlier. I still remember the sight of the bloody bed with a full red-stained gown on top of it. Whoa.. what a sight! I must admit that was a very pretty scary sight. No wonder they hang a big screen to avoid patient from watching his/her own surgery. It surely not the sight for the faint heart. I must say that I am very proud with my husband, for his willingness to accompany me throughout the surgery, and have a great courage to stay strong beside me, and witnessing the whole operation.

After they took off the strap and wires, my midwife told us that I would then be wheeled to the 'Wake-up Room' for constant monitoring at least for 1 hour. They told my husband to wait at the waiting room with our new baby before went to the room I was given earlier. After a kiss from my husband, I was then wheeled to the -2 floor. I was very embarrassed, lying flat on bed while being wheeled, and going past some people. I was not wearing headscarf, and that was awkward. I bet my hair was oddly tangled, and I looked terrible at that moment. I remember the big bruise I had on my left arm from the blood pressure strap that was attached to me during the surgery.

The 'Wake-up Room' was quite spacious. I saw a lot of patient in bed, still recovering as I was. There were at least 30 spaces for beds and my bed was put in the middle of the room, just beside the nurse's desk. Each space has its own machines for blood pressure, heart beat measurer (I don't know what's the term), and some other I just didn't recognized. In front of me there were four person recovering, and two of them were fast asleep (I guess they were just went through surgery, and still under drug).

I was advised to keep moving my feet, as it was good to improve blood circulation. They sticked four wires to my abdomen, and took my blood pressure in every 10 minutes. I was told that I was prescribed with a morphine drip as a painkiller, and I could control the dose by only pressing a button. They also gave me another painkiller by drip during the 'Wake-up' moment.

I'll never forget, how I wished my husband was there with me, holding my hand, accompany me with our new baby, and I really wished I could hug her at that moment. I wondered, how was my son doing up there on the tenth floor, waiting for me.. has he stopped crying? He must be very worried and confused, watching me being taken away without anyone explaining things to him.

3.00 pm

Finally a nurse came and told me that I was ready to go to my room. She smiled as she did a final blood pressure check and 'feeling' the tummy, and did one more sense test similar to one that I had before the surgery. She asked me to move my feet, and I successfully wiggled them. I was quite anxious, as I was not completely sure if I was ready to walk at that moment (as during my first cesarean, they made me walked 6 hours after the operation).

I was desperate to seek comfort from my husband, and I longed to meet my new daughter, of course I really missed my son very much...

3.30 pm

Finally, a male attendant came and wheeled me to my room. Again, that made me really uncomfortable. Without head covers, and with four bags of fluid attached to my bed frame, and one of them was the morphine drip, and the rest was glucose drip and painkiller drip, and a uterine tube, hanging just below my bed frame, I must looked scary.

Come to think of that again, perhaps that was just my feeling. I did feel that the crowd weren't that interested to 'know what happened to me'. They looked, yes they did, but that's that.

3.45 pm

Finally I was in my room, and how happy my son to see me! His face instantly brighten upon seeing me arrived. I was delighted when my son rushed to hug me (for comfort, I guess), but then my husband stopped him and said, 'Mummy sakit... tak boleh peluk lagi... (Mummy is not well, she can't hug you yet)' That reality really put me back my thought to hug him. And, oh my.. the incision was very painful once the epidural worn off.. Thank God the painkiller drip really help to contain the pain. My abdomen looked really bad, and felt jelly-like at that moment. And I hated the sight of it.. urgh..

Then I found my little girl, sleep soundly next to me, in the clear plastic baby cot. She's so beautiful. I received a lot of kisses and hugs and praises from my dear husband. I listened to him about what they have been doing while waiting for me to arrive, and I was happily entertained by my son's behave of missing me, running here and there, showing me toys and telling me stories. My husband said that Umair was so happy and he kissed Dana when she first came to the room. That was the most happiest moment I had, the big reunion of four, after the frightening experience in the operation table.

I remember giving my newborn daughter her first taste of milk. I found it was very hard and excruciating to get myself up. I need help to get my daughter from her cot to my arm for feeding. I was glad when I found out that Dana was easy to feed, even the lactating nurse who helped me to sit upright and assisted me to feed Dana was impressed. 'She feed very well', was their claimed that day. And I just smiled, although at that moment my milk hasn't fully developed yet, the amount was too little. But the nurse assured me that during the first few days, baby only need a small amount of milk, and the first milk, colostrum (although it was very little) is really important for baby, as they are full with protein and enough to fill a newborn. The nurse encouraged me to give Dana both sides of milk so it should be enough for her.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my bed was very sophisticated. Easy to control with few buttons so that I could adjust the height of the bed, even the posture of the bed. And that features really helped for me to feed my daughter.

4.30 pm

We then took chances to skype with my parents-in-law in Malaysia. They were so happy, and there were also tears of joy. My mother-in-law in her teary eyes reminded us to always look after each other, and gave plenty of advises of what should we do after that day. I know, they wished they could come and visit me, and look after me and their new grandchild, and playing with of Umair. But I do understand that they also have other big commitment in Malaysia, and I must not be that selfish to force them to come here and assist us.


I stayed at the hospital for 6 days. During the 6 days, my husband has played a great support for me, as well as my husband's cousin, who accompanied me every night, to help me with Dana. A night nurse would came every day to check my blood pressure, and checking the incision. Then another 'nurse for baby' came to check Dana's temperature, her weight, and bathed her. I was completely in bed rest for 2 days after the surgery, and was forbidden to eat or drink, only given glucose drip (only after I felt gas movement in my tummy then it's okay for me to eat). During that bed rest, a group of nurses would come and help me clean. They washed my body while I was in bed, and though it was quite embarrassing, I braced everything as they did it very professionally. My gynae also came almost every day to look and ask my condition.

I was able to walk independently during the third day after the operation. It was very painful, and at first I had to ask my cousin to help me getting up. It was difficult but I knew I had to do it so that I'll heal faster. I washed myself that day, and that was my first real bath after the surgery, which was very refreshing. And that day, I finally allowed my first sip of water in the afternoon, and finally have my first real meal for dinner.

For the next day, we had developed sort of routine. In the morning, my husband will came along with Umair, visiting me and Dana. Then the cousin would follow them home so that she could cook some foods for my husband and my son, and prepared soup for me. I stayed with Dana, and later in the evening, my husband came along with my son and his cousin, bringing some soup and collected worn clothes to wash, chatted for a while, and then left with Umair, leaving the cousin to stay for the night. That was really touching. I couldn't thank them much their supports during my hardest period, where I really need a lot of helping hands during the recovery period.

On the sixth day, after a Rubella shot, and thorough inspection of us (Dana and I), we were finally discharged. I was very excited to go home. It must be quite tough for my son to sleep without me in bed, and now having me back he had to handle a new addition in our family. Nonetheless I know in my heart that he would and could handle it well. The staples on my tummy was taken four days after I was home by nurses who came to our our house to check the baby's weight.

And now, it's almost 5 weeks since the operation, which means Dana Sufiya is now 1 month and a few days old. I am still recovering, and the incision by now is completely shut. There were some area around the incision that feel numb, even if pinched I feel nothing. There were also times when I feel a little pain inside my tummy, and that only happened when pushed myself to do house chores too much. I know then that I still need times to recover, and need to pull back some works, and begin things easy and slowly, as the incision is still healing. I still need some more rest and not to force myself with jobs yet.

Whatever it is.. we are finally four! Two boys and two girls in the house! Imagine that! Can't wait to be back in Malaysia this September for Hari Raya gathering, introducing Dana to her grannies and the rest of our extended family members, and furthermore witnessing the wedding of my brother with his fiance at Sabah..


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Arrival of Dana Sufiya - Part 2 (The Arrival)

The chronologies continues..

11.00 am

My gynae met us before the entrance to the operation theatre. She told us that the team was still preparing the room. I remember how worried my husband was, perhaps he sensed my hidden fear. A nurse came and told my husband that he need to go to the next door to prepare himself with a special head cover and mouth cap, and a special operation gown, before he could enter the room. I did sense his hesitation to leave me as he kissed me before he went to change.

Then two nurses came and wheeled me into the room. The room was quite small, with two wide window, and in the middle of the room was a small and narrow bed, perhaps smaller than 2m x 1m. They have this big machine to check blood pressure and heart beat just by the side of the bed, a big lamp hanging on top of the bed, and few glass closets filled with a lot of things I just couldn’t recall of. And a wheeler filled with stuffs which I supposed they’re going to use in the caesarean operation.

I shivered a little, not sure whether it was caused by the coldness of the air or the fear I had. My eyes fixed at the door, anxiously looking for my hero to come and comfort me.. I was very scared, yet I pushed myself a smile. Two anesthetists came and explained how they would perform the injection. With Sophie, my midwife's help, I was told to sit by the small bed, and to crouch like a cat, bending my backbone outside. First they injected a local anaesthesia to numb the skin. Thank God they did that very quickly, it was so not comfortable. Then after about half an hour, they continued with the second injection, I guess that was the spinal epidural, and that was worse than the first one. I gritted my teeth to force myself handled the ‘weird numb pain’ when the needle and the medication entered my backbone. I think they took more than 30 second to insert the medication.

It took less than 2 minutes for the medication to start taking action. After a while, slowly, my lower body started to feel warm. Both my leg was strangely felt as if they were 'pricked' with thousands of tiny needles that neither painful nor relaxing. Then the leg muscles started getting weak. In less than 5 minutes I found that it was difficult to move even my toes, and my legs felt terribly heavy. Then I heard some noises, and saw a group of masked people with their head covered just over the small window at the entrance to the room. They seemed as if they were discussing something. Oh.. how nervous I was, as if that my stomach was going to jump out from its place.

The anesthetists then lifted my leg to a leg supporter on top of the bed and I was asked to lie flat. I wished they gave me a small pillow to support my head, as lying flat made me really breathless. The room was suddenly filled with a number of people. My gynae, Dr. Vaesen came and assured me that everything was in perfect order, and the operation will begin soon. Both my arms were spread wide on the arm support of the bed, and my left arm was strapped with a blood pressure strap that attached to the machine. They also sticked at least four wires to my abdomen, I guess that must be for the heart beat constant monitoring.

Someone masked (I have no idea who) came and took my undergarment away, and another person inserted a tube into my ureter. Then the anesthetists came again and perform a sense test. She swabbed a cotton wool with alcohol, swabbed my arm and my chest, and asked 'which is cold, here or here?' She repeated the test at least 5 times. And surprisingly, I did feel the cold on both sides at first, and in times, I couldn't feel the cold anymore, although she swabbed my tummy with it. And at the same time both my legs were completely paralyzed! I couldn't move my feet!

Then I heard a harsh male voice. I believed he was the head surgeon of the day. He put a green cloth on top of my body, leaving the tummy part exposed. Someone lower the big lamp to be just on top of my tummy, and another two person lifted a wide green screen in front of me. And then out of nowhere someone came and hold my hand (in urgency). I looked up, and how my heart sang! My beloved husband! Complete in head cover and mouth mask, and operation gown! He looked no different than the rest of the team of that day..

12.00 pm

I didn't know why I kept looking at the big clock hanging just on the wall by my right. My husband was just as nervous as I was. He held my hand very tight, and kept assuring me that everything will be alright. He reminded me to pray a lot, and chant 'selawat' as much as I could. He guided me to 'istighfar' all the time. I was so sleepy and exhausted, mostly because of the anesthesia. I remember the feeling of somebody touching my tummy, when my husband mentioned, 'they are starting to cut the skin'. It was completely painless. My husband kept holding my hand and stole some quick peeks across the big screen in front of me. When I told my husband that I was sleepy, he said, 'stay with me dear.. stay with me...'. I smiled, and pushed myself to stay awake.

I remember the moment when my husband told me, 'they already open the skin..', at the same time the grip of his hand was tightening. I knew, he was worried if they hurt me in any way, and yet he couldn't do anything but to wait and pray. He was very quiet, and how I wished I could read what's on his mind at that moment. I remember the pulling, the tucking, the pinching, but all of them were quite dull and painless. I breathed heavily, and I was expecting the 'sudden empty' feeling from the tummy, indicating that the baby was already born. I remember my husband said, 'patience dear, it's almost over, I can see the baby's leg'. I prayed silently, 'Please God, please protect my child..'

The tugging and pulling lasted for almost 30 minutes, then I felt something was taken away from my body. My husband whispered excitedly, 'the baby is here!' and his eyes were smiling! I was so relieved and silently said, 'alhamdulillah'. Then after a suckling sound, I heard the long-awaited cries. The cry was really different than my first born had. My husband went across the green screen, perhaps he was called by someone. And then he came back and held my hand, excitedly telling me that our daughter has already been born and was taken care by a paediatrician. He told me that she was so beautiful and have plenty of hair, and kept thanking me for giving him a beautiful daughter. Another person came, I was not sure who she was, telling my husband that he should come with the paediatrician.

For another 20 minutes, or more, the rest of the team were to deliver the placenta. Then my husband came, smiling, with our new, completely clothed little girl. Oh.. she's so beautiful! My husband told me that the baby was born healthy, cry very little, and already opened her eyes! After a while, I heard my husband whispered 'iqamat' to our newly born daughter, just behind me, above my head, while the rest of the team was still trying to deliver the placenta. Then he reminded my gynae to keep the placenta for us to clean and manage at home.

Finally after about 15 minutes, my husband said that they were doing the closing and the stitching. My gynae came, telling me that everything was perfect. The only male surgeon that day told us that the built of the scar was good, and should we try for a third child there should be no problem with another cesarean. Then I heard a sound, sounded like a stapler! 'My God! They use staples?' I was surprised. My husband smiled and assured me that they already stitched the inside layer of the incision, and the stapler was just on the outside of the skin. That's completely different than what I experienced with my son, when they stitched the skin opening with a self-dissolve thread instead of staples. Someone then put a wide plaster just on top of the incision, and the surgeon assured me that although the strap was big, the incision was quite small. After that they cleaned the swab remaining from my body and I was then left with my husband and the anesthetists and Sophie, the midwife for further cleaning.

... to be continued ...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Arrival of Dana Sufiya - Part 1 (The Fear)

The chronologies begin...

5.00 am

Woke up and did the morning prayer as usual. I remember the feeling of nervousness, anxiousness and 'worriness' (if there is such a word) all mixed up with the 'excitedness' to accept a new family member in our small family. Took a long warm shower to calm the feeling, and remember snuggled in dearest husband arms for comfort and assurances, and kissing litle umair to wake him up from deep slumber. Husband performed morning prayer while I tried to be as calm as I could to explain to lil prince that later during the day I won't be joining him at night at home, as I usually do.

7.00 am

Dressed for the 'day' and managed to sneak update status in FB. I just wear a simple pregnant gown, a socks and will be wearing a newly bought Crocs sandal to the hospital. I was so touched to read that so many people pray for us, and wishing us the best. I remember I was strangely calm all the morning. I remember that I need to keep in fasting mode, and my last meal was a quick supper of a peel of banana and a glass of plain water at 10.00pm earlier. I hope that would be enough time of fasting needed for the big operation. Dearest husband and son went down to living dining area earlier for breakfast before I join them for the daily 'morning gathering'.

8.30 am

Everybody went together to the hospital to offer supports, daddy, abang baby and titie. My husband then registered my name at the Admission & Hospitalization Counter before allowed to go to the tenth floor, where the Labour and Maternity Departments situated. I remember the heavy feeling in my womb, as if the baby was ready to be born at that very moment. I wonder how much weight has the baby gained by today, I hoped she would be as almost as the same weight as her brother.

We were showed the room where I would be stayed for the next 5 days. A week earlier we had requested a single room and we managed to get one nice spacious room, room number 189. We could see Brussels from bird's eye view. Even the famous Atomium is visible from the window. Later after we're familiarized with the room, I was met by my midwife for the day, her name is Sophie. She's very young, I guess she must be around 25th. I think she must be a midwife in training. She brought me the special hospital gown (if you watched Dr. House series, you'll know what kind of gown I was wearing) and told that I need to change before wheeled into the operation room.

Later, another nurse came (I forgot her name) and inserted an I.V. tube to my hand. It was quite difficult at first as she explained that my hand was slightly swollen because of the water retention I’ve had during pregnancy. She couldn't get through the left hand's vein, and finally the tube went though my right hand, leaving 2 brown needle bruises (ouch.. I just not quite acquainted to needles..).

10.30 am

I still can’t forget how helplessly my son cried reaching for me when I was then wheeled to the operation room. He desperately struggled to escape titie’s holding arms when seeing me that way. I remember holding my heartache seeing him that way. He knew something big was going to be happened to mummy, yet he couldn’t get the idea of why. I tried very hard to hold my tears and I did try to look behind but unfortunately the door is quite narrow for me to have him on my sight, and the nurses wheeled me without stopping. And then I remember the look from my husband, he was torn in between to accompany me and to stay back and comfort our son. How my heart ached; and all I could do was just looked away to hide my feeling..

.... to be continued ...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's Tomorrow!

In less than 10 hours I need to be at the hospital by 8.30am. It's tomorrow! I have to admit, although I may look strong, deep in my heart I am quite shaken and quite nervous. I believe that's quite common for someone to have this kind of fear when they know the day they'll be wheel into OT. Although it means for their own good, the anxiousness would never go away that easily.

Being so used having my prince and my king beside me every night, really make me missed them a lot already.. Seeing them hugged each other during sleep really makes my heart touched. Three months ago my son was so used to my arms every night, and it took me great will to teach him to sleep with his father instead of me. And again, after tomorrow I shall have another small angel to sleep in my arms. I wonder what will become to my son, is he'll cope well with new sibling? But I'm sure he'll become the best brother ever to his little sibling.

I'm pretty sure my little prince will miss me greatly as I never been away from him at night since he's born. And I am so sure that I will miss him as he never leave my sight since he's a newborn.. Looking at his smiling face, melting my heart, really challenge my will to be apart for a while (at least 5 days). But I'm sure my husband will be tender enough to care my son during my absent for the next five night.

Yet, I am too excited to hold another new baby tomorrow.. Pray for the best..