Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Out Came the Prince!

They said every child is unique, and so is their birth stories. I couldn't agree more! With Aydein, my labor started with periodic contraction. With Adeena, it was blood show. With Aahil.. well, here's how it went down with Aahil.

A day before I gave birth, Aien asked me to accompany him jalan-jalan at Shah Alam's newly opened Aeon Mall. I was reluctant at first, but dragged my heavy bum out anyway, at the thought of having lunch at Manhattan Fish Market (gotta love that place!). To be honest, at this point, I was reluctant to go anywhere due to my backpain. There were many times when I had to miss a few events due to this, like baby expos, warehouse sales, gatherings etc. Backpain is no joke ok! Tapi naseb kau lah suami dapat kawen dengan pelahap, sakit pinggang pun jalan jugak lah bila terbayang the flamed grilled lobsterssss hehe.

On our way back from lunch, I told my SIL, the backpain was not only my concern, the baby's weight too! During the 35th week scan, the doctor said the doctor expected Aahil to come out big, because he was already weighing 2.5kgs at the point. I've never had a baby above 2.8kgs, before so this was quite a concern. I was so worried that he'd be too big for normal delivery and that I'd have to go for caesarian! I guess Aahil heard and didn't want me to worry that he decided to help mommy that very same night!

That midnight at about 1am, I woke up to calm the crying Adeena who got awaken from a dream. After she was settled, I moved slightly on the bed, and at that moment, I felt a slight trickling of liquid coming out from down there. I thought it was just discharge, so I ignored it. But when it happened again after I shifted my body, I got quite curious.

I woke up, went into the toilet to wash my face and looked into the mirror. Suddenly, I felt yet another trickling of liquid coming out from down there. It didn't smell like urine or discharge, so I knew instantly I was leaking of amniotic fluid. The realization of it hit me like cold water in my face - my water bag just broke, I'm giving birth - at 36 weeks!

My heart pumped fast, I felt blood rushed to my head. How can it be? It's too early! Can we hold the labor for one more week? If I give birth now, my baby would be premature! All sorts of thoughts were in my head - images of my unborn baby with ventilator, tubes, and all. (Yeah, I can be very imaginative sometimes :P) I was freaking out inside, but I knew I had to keep cool. So as calmly as I could, I called out to Aien who was sleeping. He rushed to the toilet and asked what was wrong. I told him, "I think it's time,". He took a deep breath and kissed my forehead, telling me that it's going to be okay. I was comforted by his calmness... but not for long!

You see, since I didn't expect to give birth that early, I hadn't packed anything. There is no hospital bag, so let's just say, Aien lost his cool when he couldn't find the things I was asking him to pack. Can you imagine, after 8 years of being married to me, he suddenly didn't know where I kept my jubah or even undies! LOL. And I thought I'm the one with poor stress management! :P After a lot of grumbling, we somehow managed to get the super necessary stuffs, and he decided to come home again later to get more things. But first thing first - get me admitted to hospital.

On the way to the hospital, I could feel more liquid gushing out. By the time I reached the hospital and stepped out of the car, the pad I wore was completely soaked and I was dripping wet! After we did the admission, the nurse put me on a wheelchair and pushed me to the labor room.

The nurse checked my cervix and told me I was 1cm dilated but baby's head was still high. This was confirmed by my obygyn, Dr Tang Boon Nee, who came a few hours later to check on me. The moment she said that, I blurted out the only one thing that was worrying me - Can I still deliver normally? Dr Tang, being the calm and chirpy her, just smiled and reassured me that it's very possible, because the baby's head is already down. However, since my contraction were not very strong, I will need to be induced to get the labor started, so I can deliver faster and avoid infection since my waterbag has broken. I was put on drip at 10am and the induction begun.

Then, all I needed to do was pray so that the contraction is powerful enough for the baby to be pushed down. At first, the contractions were mild, and it just felt like the normal Braxton Hicks I was used to. So I started to worry. What if the contractions remain like these? They won't be strong enough to push the baby down! What if I have to go c-zer? Soooo many what ifs this and what ifs that were playing in my mind. So in order to calm me down, I turned to the only one thing I knew could help ease the worry - the Quran. I started reciting surah Al-Maryam that was said to help make delivery easier for moms. Believe it or not, I didn't just recite it once, but thrice just because I was so nervous, and wanted so badly for this delivery to be smooth and normal! Hehe.

Alhamdulillah, after a while, I started feeling the contraction getting more and more intense. In fact, the pain was never like I've experienced before. Instead of having a steady 2-3 minutes intervals, this one comes every 1 min, sometimes less than a minute! Let's just say, I wasn't prepared for it!

The good thing is, with induce, the labor seems to be faster. The doctor came in at about 12pm, and told me I was already 5cm dilated! But when she saw me in so much pain, she told the nurse to bring down the drug dose so that the contraction would be a bit more bearable for me.

Now here’s the thing. If the past 2 deliveries, I needed Aien to be by my side, holding me and cheering me on, THIS time however, I wanted Aien to be quiet. HAHAHAHAH. I didn’t want anyone touching me, I didn’t want any loud noise. So when Aien tried to be funny and crack jokes in hopes to make me feel better in between the contractions, he actually got a “Stop it, it’s very annoying” from me instead. Hahaha God bless his kind soul. I know he was only trying to make me feel better, but wrong timing dude, wrong timing! :P

And then, when I was finally 10cm, the midwife told me to push whenever I was ready to push. I pushed twice, but I wasn’t giving it all because I wanted the doctor to deliver my baby, not the midwife! I even asked the midwife mid-pushing “Doctor dah sampai?” Haha. Boleh pulak macam tu kan.

So when the doctor finally arrived, 10 minutes later, with just 2-3 pushes more, out came the prince, filling the room with his beautiful, loud cry at 2.31pm, weighing 2.92kg (not bad for a premature!), via normal delivery. :) No injection, no epidural, not even gas to help me this time, just strong will to get me through the 5-hour labor this time, alhamdulillah. :)

And that's, my friends, how I got the prince, my prince, who we named “Aahil”, which literally means “Prince” in Arabic. Welcome to the little family, handsome boy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

UMRA Hospital - Not a Place to Establish Good Breastfeeding

Recently, I saw a mom posted a status in a breastfeeding group asking how to reduce engorgement because her baby just won't latch, even after multiple tries. Apparently, she started bottle feeding her baby as early as day-3 due to jaundice. As a result, now her baby won't take directly from her, because the baby is too comfortable with the fast milk flow coming from the bottle teat.
This reminds me of my very own experience with Aahil, and why reading the post from that mom affected me so much. You see, after getting discharged from SJMC, Aahil's jaundice flared up to 262 on day-6. Considering the fact that SJMC was a little far from our home, we decided to do the treatment at UMRA Hospital, in Seksyen 13 Shah Alam. It was the biggest mistake we've made. For those of you who are expecting and planning to fully breastfeed your baby (successfully), please avoid this hospital at all cost. This post is going to be lengthy, as there were many events that happened (even for a 1 night stay!), so bare with me.
See, before getting admitted to the hospital, we were taken to see this so-called "paediatrician" to assess Aahil's condition. I will never forget her name - but I'll just use her initial for the sake of this post - it's Dr J. During the assessment, not only was she unfriendly, but quite incompetent as a "paediatrician". At first, she was asking us about the standard questions. Then, she asked if I was breastfeeding - I said yes. Then, she asked if I have ever expressed milk out, and what was the volume. I said, I pumped at day-2 and I got almost 2oz. But after weighing Aahil, she said, "See, baby's birth weight was 2.92kg. Now it has dropped to 2.8kg. It shows that your breastmilk is not enough,"
I was speechless. First of all, most of us breastfeeding moms know that 1-2oz is considered normal for the first week of a newborn's life. Secondly, I don't have to be a doctor to know that it is completely normal for newborns to lose 5-10% of his birth weight due to the fluid that he loses after delivery. But even at this point, I didn't really care because:
1) I was equipped with enough information about breastfeeding & breastmilk.
2) All I wanted was the phototherapy treatment for Aahil. The doctor's opinion was irrelevant to me for all I care.
Then, Aahil was sent for treatment. Before the admission, the nurses requested us to bring some pampers for Aahil. I was surprised - don't hospitals normally provide this? Not that it matters, so we supplied them with 10 pcs of pampers as per requested anyway.
I breastfed Aahil once more just before he started the treatment, then left. Before leaving however, I told the nurses that I would be back in 2 hours for the next round of feed. She made a face, but nodded anyway. I left.
After 2 hours, I came back to nurse Aahil and realized that they've bathed and changed Aahil. However, to my surprise, there was NO tag on Aahil other than what's labelled on his trolley. Didn't want to make a scene (because Aahil still needed the treatment), I asked my husband to get a marker, and marked an "A" at the bottom of Aahil's feet. After all the backpains and hardwork in the labor room, I wasn't going to take any chances and mistake my baby with someone elses!

After I was done nursing Aahil, I left and again told the nurse I will be back again in 2 hours, but this time, one of them told me that it wasn't necessary for this troublesome trips, and asked me to supply them with EBM instead. This is when everything started.
I asked them, what was their feeding method? They said "bottle". Immediately I was turned off by the idea, knowing very well a newborn that young shouldn't be introduced to teat bottle for feeding in order not to confuse him with breastfeeding. So I asked if it would be possible for them to feed the baby with a cup, spoon or syringe even - they said no (to all of the options), because they were afraid it would.. choke the baby. (????) I figured they were just lazy, but I kept quiet and told them gently that in that case, I will come to feed Aahil directly instead, because the baby is too young to take from a bottle and I didn't want him to get nipple confusion. Besides, I needed the stimulation + bonding. But no, they kept insisting anyway and told me that with just a few feeds, there won't be any nipple confusion. They were very pushy, but I put my feet down and insisted to come back anyway because my house really isn't far from the hospital. I left.
Then, when I came back for feeding again, the same thing happens. The nurses kept asking me to leave some EBM for Aahil. One of them even told me, there was a mom who left 5 bottles of EBM for her baby. In my heart, I questioned the motive of her saying that to me? Was it to annoy me? They went on and said they needed to see the amount of milk that goes in the baby to make sure the baby was getting "enough". I told them, I have no problem supplying them with EBM but I do not fancy their feeding method. Then they said, they cannot keep lifting the baby up (for me to feed) because it will disrupt the treatment process (???). (So how do they feed EBM to other babies then? While the babies lying down????) I was getting real annoyed by then but thinking that Aahil would be under their care for treatment, I kept calm and lied to them that I hadn't bought any pump yet, and that I would buy one the first thing in the morning. (At this point, I was adamant to get Aahil out the hospital first thing in the morning).
After I finished feeding, another one of them came to me and asked, "Susu ada ke? Banyak?" I was getting a bit impatient at this point, and snapped "Ya, tengok baju saya ni. Dah lencun," pointing at my milk-soaked shirt. That shut her up, and I knew it was very smug of me of saying that, but I was beginning to feel tired from all the trips, and to be honest, it actually felt good to finally let it out!
Before I left this time, I checked if they had any rooms left for me to room-in but they had none. But that's not the point - they simply didn't want me to come to feed my baby directly! I was wondering why the strange requests over and over again, until I came for feeding late that night again, where my question was finally answered. Believe it or not, I found out ALL 4 NURSES AT THE OUTSIDE COUNTER WERE HAPPILY SLEEPING! (Picture a little blurry because I was walking and trying to act as though I was texting someone)

The 2 nurses INSIDE the nursery were awake, but it doesn't matter - WHY were the rest sleeping? Were they paid to sleep at their job? What if something happened to the nurses inside, and the nurses outside don't realize it? Won't it cause danger to the babies lives??
You have no idea how hard I tried to control my emotion and how much I wanted to take Aahil out from the hospital. But it was 3am then, and Aahil still needed the treatment, so I persevered and waited for morning to come.
The next morning, we came again for feeding at 6am and then again at 9am, while waiting for Aahil's blood test result to come out, but the nurses said it wasn't ready, and that we needed to wait between 12pm-2pm for the result to be ready. We waited and waited and came again at 12pm for feeding, but when we hear no news by 2pm, we started to feel very agitated.
So we drove back to the hospital, and when we reached the nursery, my husband asked the nurse politely for the result, but the nurse simply told us no, the result wasn't out yet. She also asked if we had received any call, but when we said no, she then said "Kalau takde call, takde result lah". She then dismissed us by simply asking us to wait. SUPER RUDE. Husband was getting super agitated by the minute and asked how long more did we need to wait, because we've been waiting since morning! He told the nurse to follow up and check when exactly will the result be out because it was already past 2pm. She made a face but reluctantly went to the back of the nursery to check, anyway.
And what do you know? 5 minutes later, the chief nurse came out - WITH A RESULT IN HER HANDS! Apparently they've already had the results since 1pm but the freaking rude nurse earlier was too lazy to check! Husband got super, super angry at this point and asked to get Aahil out immediately. The chief nurse informed us that Aahil needed further treatment because his level was "still high". (Actually it wasn't, the reading has gone down from 262 to 203! At this time I wanted to shove the result into their faces to prove that you do NOT need to feed baby with EBM to ensure he is well fed). But as I said, we were adamant to take Aahil out the next day no matter what happens, so we ignored the request and demanded to be discharged immediately. We then brought Aahil back to SJMC, and with that much improvement, the Doctor confirmed that no further treatment was necessary.
Long story cut short, we made a complaint against the UMRA Hospital, spoke to the hospital manager and they apologized over and over again for their incompetency and unprofessionalism. But the damage has been done. It would be the last time for us there -- ever!
See, fortunately for us, we are experienced parents of 3 with (alhamdulillah) sufficient knowledge on areas not just on breastfeeding/breastmilk but also on our rights as patients. What if what happened to us happen to new parents who know nothing right from the start?
1) The doctor would have first discourage/confuse/worry the mom with her remarks on her EBM yield, when actually, she is doing fine!
2) The pressure from the nurses to provide them with EBM would have forced the mom to feed the baby from the bottle, which could possibly lead to nipple confusion!
To end the story, I urge all you parents out there to equip yourself with as much knowledge on breastfeeding as much as possible to save you from unnecessary stress such as this. Know your rights as a parent, and put your feet down when decision needs to be made.

For expecting and new parents out there - please try to avoid bottles and pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established (usually about 4 weeks) and be firm with the decision made! People can say whatever they want to say, but remember - it is YOUR baby, and at the end of the day, it is YOU who will be facing the music. When "noises" come and try to bring you down, remember to stay strong and PERSEVERE, as no one else has the rights to your baby other than you, and your husband, deservingly. That's it.

Other than that, just enjoy the time with your little one, and keep breastfeeding! Happy breastfeeding!