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Monday, December 19, 2011

Adelya Qasdina - The Birth Story

Okay, now that I think I am in a better state of mind (but still experiencing the sharp piercing pain from breastfeeding), I am finally ready to tell this chapter of my life story.

My labor experience was a beautiful one. I had what they would call a precipitate labor (very rapid labor. Oh, it comes with its own set of risks but thankfully, I didn't know about it beforehand).

"Short, Fast Labor (Precipitate Labor)
A precipitate labor is normally very short, lasting less than three hours. A precipitate labor has its own special problems and challenges. The duration of the labor may appeal to you, but you may not notice the signs of the labor in the latent phase thereby missing the early signs of labor. Suddenly, you will be thrown into active, hard labor without time to prepare psychologically. The first noticeable contractions can be long and crushingly intense, and accompanied by feelings of panic and confusion."

On 19th October 2011, I had to check myself in the hospital because I had not yet show any sign of delivery. Since I had diabetes, the doctor does not allow me to past my due date; which is 20th October 2011.

So, at 6.00am, 20th October 2011, I was induced. Nothing new there (because I experienced that with Sara) BUT, it did felt a little bit painful. I had two rounds of check-ups using the CTG machine, and my contractions are progressing. Great, that means I won't have to be induced for the second time.

At 2.30pm, Dr Hamidah came and my dilation was only at 3cm, so she asked me casually "Do you want to give birth today? I can help you if you do, but it will be a little painful". Hmm, well, okay doc, bring it on. She did the membrane sweep and yeah, it was painful. It did struck my mind that I was completely aware and alert of all the pain I'm feeling this time around. Back then, with Sara, I was blissfully ignorant.

The nurse told me that they would wheel me to the labour room at 3.30pm. I bathe, perform solat, recite a bit of Quran and walk around the ward to speed up my dilation.

3.40pm - reached the labour room and was attached to the CTG machine for 20 minutes. A doctor came and explained to me that I had to decide whether I'm going to take the epidural injection or not. I told her that the pain is still bearable, but I might change my mind if the pain gets worse. Hehe. She told me I had to decide there and then because my dilation was at 4cm and they had to book the doctor early. I politely decline. I have nothing against taking the epidural injection but the thought of having to poke a big-ass needle in between my spine is much more scarier than facing the contraction pain.

4.00 - 5.15pm - I drifted in and out of sleep. Oh, I did take the ethonox gas. Twice. Doesn't make much difference though. I think (for Muslim) you're better off reciting the "doa Nabi Yusof". At 5.15pm, the doctor thought that I might need another induction, so they hook me to the drip and injected painkillers on my hip. (Hey, that rhymes ;p)

-- What goes on from here onwards is really embarrassing for me. I, err...lost my cool (to put it mildly) but in my defence precipitate labour does cause panic and confusion (as explained in the orange font above ;p)--

5.30pm - Suddenly, I feel like something moved in my stomach, sort of like something fell down from my tummy to my uterus. And after that, came the excruciating pain. Whoa, this is not normal. I screamed to hubby "Get the nurse!!" and I was thrashing in the bed from the pain. (It was sooo embarrassing, I was literally thrashing and almost took out all the drips and machine they put on me).

The nurse came in and because I was that hysterical, she had to scream at me "PUAN! SABAR! JANGAN MACAM NI! TENGOK SAYA!". I remember thinking, if this is not the time yet, I want epidural. Now. The nurse checked my dilation and her face changes. She rushed out to call the doctor and everything, everyone moved sooo fast.

The nurse grabbed a hold of my hand "PUAN! TENGOK SAYA OK. KITA BUAT SAMA-SAMA. BILA SAYA CAKAP PUSH, PUAN TARIK NAFAS, DAGU SENTUH KE DADA, PUSH SEKUAT HATI." I was like, oh, its time? Now? I'm really giving birth?

I pushed twice, and the third time, the baby came out at exactly 5.45pm. And because there was no drugs on me this time (the painkiller have not yet taken effect), I was fully alert and aware of everything. I saw the baby came out, I can hear the suction thingy that they use on the baby and then they took the baby away (don't ask me, I really don't know why).

The doctor then told me that my baby came out with her fists first (like knocking the door) and she weighed 3.05kgs. She told me to relax my body because she's taking out the placenta. (hmm, I thought the placenta came out with the baby?) She pressed and massage the top bit of my tummy and the placenta safely came out.

I had first degree tear and there were stitches. But, it was not very painful (as compared to the contractions I felt earlier). And then, my baby was delivered back to me. And I fed her for the first time. And it hurts like hell. But, thank god that the painkillers have started to take effect so I was more sleepy than in pain.

The nurse came to check on me and she told me she's sorry for screaming at me. She said even she was panicked to see me "lost control" like that. Tee hee. I also said that I was sorry for losing it. And I thank her for grabbing a hold of the situation, even if it means screaming at me. See, who said that public nurses are grumpy? I think negative perception towards government/public hospitals are overrated.

So, there you have it...the story of how I lost my cool and delivered a beautiful bundle of joy. I think she looks exactly like her sister, but with much thicker and longer hair :)

Oh, when my hubby wheeled Dina to meet the rest of my family waiting outside the labor room, I can hear Sara screaming "Hey, I want to see my sister!" (because she was short and everybody else is blocking her view ;p)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Breastfeeding - the ugly truth

I know, I know...I haven't properly introduce my second princess, I haven't update on the birth story but this story on breastfeeding deserves to be told first.

I expected breastfeeding to be painful (I experienced it during Sara, and I gave up, remember?). What I didn't expect was the pain to last this long. I'm on my last day of confinement and I'm NOT jumping with joy because breastfeeding is STILL PAINFUL.

This time around, I really prepared myself. I rubbed lanolin (Medela Purelan) on my nipple from the very first day. The problem is, even by then, my nipples are already in pain. From the first moment my baby latch on me, I could feel the pain.

Day 1 - Still in hospital, all nurses come and help me to breastfeed but even they don't quite understand how I can be in sooo much pain and why my nipple was such in a bad state.

Day 2 - was discharged. Kept on breastfeeding my baby. The pain was excruciating. I put hot oil on my back, popped painkillers to help alleviate the pain.

Day 3 - my confinement lady arrived, and even she was flabbergasted with my nipple and breastfeeding problem. Everyone thought it was because my milk hasn't come in yet and the baby was suckling too hard.

Day 5 - called another masseur, she came and help and sure enough, my milk has come in but due to the condition of the nipple, I suffered from blocked ducts. (Oh, I've tried pumping, using 3 different pumps : Spectra, Avent and Ameda Lactaline but NOTHING works)

Day 6 - called, asked for help and thankfully there was this one volunteer who lived nearby my house and came to help me. She taught me how to get a good latch and proper positioning.

Day 7-24 - Still in constant pain. No matter what I do, the pain won't dissipate. Asked for help from a dear friend to buy me a nipple shield and I think I've tried about every remedy suggested. Had engorgement and almost fainted, I was feverish and was fatigued all the time. But still, I kept breastfeeding my baby. Its like I have to choose between two types of pain : The sharp, burning pain from the nipple or the whole body pain of engorgement. From time to time, I had to express my milk using hand express until my hands went numb. Oh, there was this one time I felt excruciating pain and had to release my baby using my pinkie finger and suddenly I saw blood gushing out from my nipple and on my baby's mouth. Oy, the trauma was indescribable.

Day 25 - engorgement got sooo bad, had to call the masseur again, she helped cleared up the blocked ducts and suggested I go see a lactation consultant.

Day 27 - went to a lactation consultant (LC) and got to the root of the problem. MY BABY HAS TONGUE-TIE!!!! I won't go into details but tongue-tied baby have difficulties to extend their tongue past the lower gumline, therefore making it VERY painful everytime she breastfed. And for the first time throughout my painful breastfeeding journey, I cried. Haha. The LC referred me to another LC who is also a pediatrician for more thorough assessment. And oh, Sara also have tongue-tied, that's why breastfeeding her was soooo painful (Thank god I have that cleared up, because I always have this sense of guilt everytime I look at her and knowing that I failed to breastfeed her)

Day 28 - Got all ready to meet Dr Koe, only to be informed that she will be on leave for the entire week. Oh, just my luck :(

Day 32 - Went to Dr Koe's clinic, had to go through the worst traffic jam ever at MEX highway (Yeah, I never expected traffic jam would occur in MEX highway either!!) and had to wait for almost three hours at Dr Koe's clinic because apparently, she is the go-to doctor for problems in breastfeeding. She diagnosed my baby with tongue-tie and asked me whether I want to do the frenotomy procedure (snipping a bit of your baby's "tie" under the tongue. The procedure is not dangerous and even safer than circumcision, so I said yes. I had actually read up all I can about the procedure so I felt confident and safe)

Day 33-40 - I don't expect the nipple pain to magically disappear, but it has been a week and I finally figured that my baby has developed a habit when breastfeeding. She doesn't know that now she can extend her tongue to cup the lower areola and therefore, she did what she always do, grazed my nipple EVERYTIME she fed. Oh my. I had to go back to Kuantan for my sis-in-law wedding and can you imagine going to a kenduri with your breast (nipple) in constant pain. I got so stressed out, even the quality of my milk dropped and they became sooo thin, like plain water. So, the baby got hungry and started demanding to be fed every half an hour. Went to another LC in Kuantan and she suggested I take Shaklee to boost my milk and make it more thick, thus helping the baby to not get hungry every so often. I also tried pumping using Medela Swing and amazingly, I managed to express my milk. But, the pain to my nipple is still there. HUWAAAA!!!

Day 44 (today) - yeah, still in pain. We'll just see how this goes, okay? In the meantime, do pray that I get better, please...

P/S - will update on the baby and the birth story once I feel better. Just a note to those with bf problems as well, please do get professional help before its too late..

And oh, the ONLY silver lining in my dark breastfeeding cloud is I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight. And that is just within the first 20 days. Guess pain really can make you lose weight :)
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