Sunday, March 04, 2007

(Solitary) Cofinement

Its not called so for nothing is it?

You are confined until you go nuts.

I had the works for my previous kids - the bitter-sediment-swirling-around jamu, the mummifying bengkung, the wonderful urut for 7 days. No chillies or blackpepper in my food. No cold drinks. Socks on my feet 24 hours a day. And the list goes on.

But NOW living on my own, had to do without all that. I survived on spirulina, chicken essence and jeli gamat. I had my socks on. I breast fed till my nipples bleed (not as bad as having engorged breasts, I tell you).

The weather took a turn for the cold side. It was the time of wind, rain, rain, thunder, more rain with some parts of the world flooding. It felt chilly. I didnt shower for days, voluntarily (normally I would be showering the moment I was sweating) and my baby didnt have his first shower at home until day 15th!

My clips didn't stop hurting until 5 days later.

My baby was an easy baby. Didnt fuss much. Only cried for milk or when his diaper was really really full of poop.

Confinement or no confinement, life had to go on. Husband had to go work. Kids need to be sent and fetched from school. We all need to eat.

My wrists still hurt but maybe there's still water in there so let's wait a little longer. Had to close one eye and bear with the mess in the house, mountains of laundry. Priority is getting baby fed and comfortable so he can g-r-o-w. The rest we make do. And do we did. Just hope that my eagerness to get on with the life we used to know before baby came won't cost me my well-being in later years.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


11 Dec 2006

I had a ligation done coz I'm way past the prime age for having kids. Or so I think. Or I know.

Having babies need lots (and I mean lots and lots and lots) of energy. Ah, THAT I definitely know.

Take my word for it.

The day after my delivery I had an early shower. I had no problem (note: NO PROBLEM) walking. Then I fetched my baby from the nursery, fed him with colostrum (not much but very precious) and waited for the OT to buzz. And to the OT I went.

In the freezing theatre I was given a spinal injection. It hurt a bit but it was ok. Then I was put on an extremely narrow gurney (really, I thought I was gonna fall off it!) and my arms were spread eagle. The OT staff did work very quickly. They fixed various monitors and drips and waited for the spinal to work.

It took all of 5 minutes to numb me, waist down.

And so it began. Ligating my tubes. The procedure was explained to me as : my fallopian tubes would be clipped (not cut or cauterised like I thought) with plastic clips (which I should have asked to see) and any eggs produced so forth by my ovaries would have no way to move on to the uterus to be fertilised and would be reabsorbed into my body. (I was worried about the reabsorbtion part coz I had the freaky thought that the eggs would collect and cause my ovaries to burst). No follow up checkups would be necessary in years to come and this is 99% effective in birth control. OK. Sounded simple enough.

The whole ligation process was a keyhole surgery, meaning they wouldn't cut me open and scaring would be minimal. And it won't hurt. I mean it can't be as bad as delivering a baby. Can it? OR SO I THOUGHT. HAH!

It was all over in 15 minutes. I didnt even get to see the Dr who ligated me! I was brought into the observation room and had a 15-minute teeth-chattering freezing wait. I was practically shaking head to toe and the nurses remarked that since I just delivered yesterday, I must have had lost some blood and proceeded to put a warm air blower into my blanket. That comforted me but not much. I couldn't stop my teeth from chattering. The nurse said she would hugged me if she could! I was feeling nauseous and told her I felt like throwing up. She put a freezing kidney dish next to my mouth but nothing came up. It was a v-e-r-y longggg wait indeed.

After 30 minutes and no adversed reactions whatsoever, I was taken back to the ward. I was very hungry but its not lunch time yet so I sucked on a lollipop. My legs felt like sacks of flour - heavy and funnily I couldn't move them! It would take up to 6 hours for the anaesthesia to wear off.

To my happy surprise, my husband came and fed me my lunch. Mmmmm...

The nurses kept asking me if I was in pain. Pain?! What pain?! Naaahhh....



I even told my friend who was coming to visit not to come (she was angry at me for days) coz it was sooo painful I could hardly breathe or talk. The pain were at my tubes, my guess would be where the clips are. I asked for some painkillers and was asked to walk around. Surprisingly the pain WAS relieved for a while when I walked, if you can call it walking, with me crouching and holding my waist.

It was WORSE than the whole delivery episode!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Adventures in the Delivery Suite (Part 2)

10 Dec 2006


Finally, after 3 Prostin tablets, in the wee hours of the morning I felt something. Well, its not much pain, still bearable. After showering at 6am, I walked around the ward for an hour, trying to encourage the contractions to be stronger. Its not much pain, kinda like menstrual cramps and I was imagining my cervix opening up.

Breakfast time. They served mee hoon soto, but I was in too much pain to eat so I was sent to the delivery suite. I hope THIS IS IT.

Quick check: Dilation 2 to 3cm but cervix still high (well, i am not due in 2 weeks!). I was told its lucky I was admitted to the hospital because my bloodtest result showed my blood slowly going abnormal with high levels of uric acid and very low potassium.

Dr decided to break my waterbag but SHE CAN'T REACH my cervix, even with the amniotomy needle. Reviewed again, she decided to wait my waterbag to break on its own (that would take forever) and will review me regularly.

And hey, my contractions ARE getting stronger. Yeay!

My husband prepared his post on the lounging chair. He didnt bring the camera this time since we didnt use it the last two times.

A drip was set up on my left hand. Unfortunately since she manouvered the needle to get 4 vials of blood (me the, ehem, samaritan, gatal-gatal participated in a few researches and so my blood was needed these researches), it swelled up like an egg. The drip was changed to my right hand.

I was given pethidine injection and - whoa - for a couple of hours, the contractions were bearable though they were getting stronger.

Its been 7 hours in the delivery room. Tired. My blood pressure is normal.

AND my waterbag broke. The funny thing is, the nurse or the Dr would not admit its the waterbag until they did a dip test and YES it was the waterbag. Labour was progressing very slowly and they decided to hurry things up a bit and put up an oxytocin drip.

But then all hell broke loose! The contractions were coming fast and furious! I had no time to breathe and recuperate when one ended and another one started. The pethidine already wore off and I felt like climbing over the bed and climb up the wall with my nails!!!

My husband went out when they did a cervix check at 6cm and had not return. Where is he?

I already felt like pushing and felt hot and cold at the same time. I felt like screaming but I didnt. Or maybe I did and dont remember, hehe. The midwife said I'll deliver very soon.

My husband suddenly appeared and THANK GOD the baby was already crowning before I started to push. The midwife was very good, instructing me when to push with all my might, when to pant and when to push a bit so I didn't tear or lacerate and didn't need stitches after it was all over. His head popped out, then his body slided out and I was shown his genitals (!!) - a BOY!

Felt relief. Over-the-moon. Exhilirated. Baby didn't cry much. He was brought to the warmer and the normal procedures were done over him. 2.89kg weight, 48cm length. While I had another problem: My placenta wouldn't come out.

We waited half and hour and I was given the "laughing gas" to breathe and relax because I was too tense. The placenta was finally delivered. That was a scare.

The Dr said he had the longest and juiciest umbilical cord while the nurse said she never collected so much cord blood before (we donated cord blood).

I finally could hold my baby in my arms. And he smelled heavenly. He was awake and alert and I fed him for a while. He is finally here. My baby.

Adventures in the Delivery Suite

8 Dec 2006

YEAY! I might deliver today! I am happy and excited.

The 6am induction was pushed to 2pm. So at 2pm I was prepped and had the Prostin inserted. I was monitored for any increase in the strength of contractions. For a few minutes, the contractions reached above 100 readings on the CTG but slowly it disappeared. I mean, it DISAPPEARED. For two hours.

Then I was sent back to the ward. SENT BACK TO THE WARD! I was a tad disappointed. Dr told me I might go into labour tonight so I was hopeful.

After a full day at the hospital waiting, my husband went home, exhausted, I bet. He sms-ed to say he was doing the laundry and the kids were having hashbrowns and hotdogs for dinner.

Waiting is murder.


N-O-T-H-I-N-G happened tonight. Scheduled for another Prostin at 6m tomorrow.

Cervix high. Dilatatin: 1 cm. Duh.

9 Dec 2006

Dilatation still at 1 cm. Prostin 2 at 6.15 am. No breakfast. Hungry but have to tahan.

HAHA. Still no increase in contractions. Sent back to the ward AGAIN. My spirits went down.

At the ward I was monitored hourly. At 8pm the Dr decided to send me to the delivery suite AGAIN since there WAS an increase in uterine contractions. But I felt no pain, maybe just slight discomfort.

OK-lah. Whatever.

My husband went home to catch some football match and promised to come back again if need be BUT (you guessed it) I was sent back to the ward AGAIN after the 3rd Prostin at 8.30pm. Dilatation: 2cm.

DUH DUH DUH. This gotto be the joke of the year!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Quick Delivery (Not)

Still 7 Dec 2006

After the admission procedures were completed, I was sent to the ward. Changed into the pink hospital gown. I missed dinner so my husband and I had a quick dinner at Mac's. Wasn't hungry but the thought of being alone and hungry later made me eat.

Went to 711 for a quick round of "shopping" as I didnt bring my pre-packed "hospital bag"- socks (its gonna be freezing at the delivery room), face towel, some cookies (hehe). My husband can bring the bag tomorrow. Then went back to the ward. The Drs are not gonna be around to assess me immediately, I am no emergency case, so the husband goes home at 10pm. My hp batteries were running low. Called the kids back home and told them I am not coming home today. They took it quite well.

The Drs finally came way past 10pm. Since I was undecided to have my induction tonite, they will do it tomorrow morning at 6am. I was briefed on the procedure - having a tablet inserted into my cervix, will soften it. Then they will let nature runs its course - either the waterbag will break by itself or contractions will get on a roll and open up the cervix and deliver. Failing which, they will insert another tablet and another until I deliver.

I was also briefed on the risks of failed induction - uterine rupture, infection, hypertension to a dangerous level - all of which would warrant a Caesarian section. Um, oh well. I hope I won't have to go through that!

My blood pressure was taken every 4 hours and it fluctuates! It went back to normal at 4am. I have no idea why my blood pressure shot up. I am feeling fine. No headaches, visual disturbances, etc. I only did the usual household chores, nothing out of the ordinary. It must be age-related then.

As expected I didn't sleep well - the CTG machine had to be fixed to monitor baby's heart rate and my contractions, blood pressure and tempreature readings, blood samples taken.

I was not dilated, my cervix was high. I talked to my baby. He is obviously up to his usual kicks and turns at midnite. He is still not engaged in my pelvis, still floating happily. "Settle down ok baby? Things are gonna be earlier than we thought." I pray for a fast and easy delivery. Tomorrow. Maybe.

ME? P.E.?

7 Dec 2006
2.30 pm

Routine checkup at my 38th week.

Urine test: Trace, protein (huh? Not good)
Blood pressure : 144/99 (NOT GOOD)
Nurse voiced her concern that my bp is a "bit high"

Weight : Gained 400g since last week (OK)

I vaguely remember reading about the symptoms of pre-eclampsia (PE), pregnancy-related hypertension. I might have THAT?

Sure enough the Dr was worried. She wants me admitted for observation immediately and delivery induced if need be, maybe tonight. The baby is already full term at 38 weeks. Tonight? I was (a bit, oh, alright, verry)overwhelmed. What if I go home and admit myself tomorrow?

"PE has this nasty habit of coming up silently and seizing up. It might turn nasty tonight and if you are at home and not aware of it, you might get fits and your organs might be damaged and you might lose your baby. If you insist of going home, you would have to sign the AMA (Against Medical Advice) document." That serious huh?

My BP was not THAT high, just borderline, after 3 re-takes. Taken manually, with the stethoscope, it was even higher at 160/108!!

So here I am, at 5pm, sitting in an empty waiting room for the porter to take me to the ward. I didnt inform anyone, just my husband, and I bet he's worried.

I'm quite taken aback. I was planning to do some shopping for baby stuff on the way home. Guess no time for that now.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

37 weeks



I have just completely confused myself. I got a book - The Gentle Birth. Its supposed to help lead me to a more comfortable (comfortable - DONT read as painless!), tear-free, minimal need for medical intervention of labour & delivery. But now it has completely floored me.

For the past 2 weeks, my wrists have been hurting. First its my left but now both. It limits movements thusthe use of my hands have been limited. Scoured the net. It might be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), where water retention causes pressure on the blood vessels and nerves at the extremities (hands and legs).

Now the book said I should, to avoid water retention - get this - eliminate COMPLETELY from my diet - wheat (read: bread) which is my staple, sugar (!), tomatoes ( I eat raw tomatoes in sandwiches on a daily basis!), bananas, mangoes (my ultimate favourite juice, with pearls).

If I had found this book earlier, not at my 37th week, it might had helped. But now, its kinda late, dontcha think?

There are many other discomforts of pregnancy, which are not documented or seem to be exclusively appearing to some women only and they have boggled the doctors. Cure? It will go away when the baby's born.

My gums now are much more sensitive and bleed like crazy when I brush my teeth, as if I brush them so violently! I've given up looking for my ankles too coz my feet get so swollen, they look like blocks of wood. Not to mention the rubber & metallic taste in my mouth that I have since Day 1.

Hopefully all these will go away as soon as my baby is born!

I've started eating almonds and dried apricots to store complex carbohydrates for labour....which I don't know when but sooon I hope.

In the meantime I've chucked the book away...heee heee.

Now's not the time to be confused. I need a clear mind to welcome my new baby. I can't wait to smell him. Newborn babies smell of heaven, you know.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


At 30 weeks.

Feeling sluggish and h-e-a-v-y. Been such a klutz. Dropping stuff and not being able to bend down to pick them up. A relief to know that this IS normal at this stage of pregnancy!

Difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep each night, and when I finally get to doze off, its time to go pee or time to get up already...

Funny thing is people still ask me if I am pregnant? I look like I have a basketball under my clothes, hehe. As long as the baby is growing well and knowing that the discomforts are temporary, I'm slogging on (like I have a choice?).

I long for the days when I can run for the bus, walk briskly, going up and down the stairs won't leave me gasping for air. What with the frequent Braxton Hicks contractions to cope with too...I want my active life back!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Where's the cow?

I've been feeling like a beached whale, cow, whatever that is heavy and sluggish - that's me. I thought I must have put on a tonne of weight coz my back is aching like crazy. Reading other pregnant women's blogs have been much help becoz they all feel the same - heavy and aching.

Not having enough sleep seems to be the norm now. Can't get a comfortable position to sleep long enough to feel rested. Have to get up many times to pee and that's not helping!

Last night was a nightmare! We had guests and we served them coffee. The coffee, made by my husband, was soo soo good I drank 2 cups (which was no big deal if I wasn't pregnant). Then I had the worst night - my body was kinda lying on the bed BUT my brain was working - buzzing about. AND the baby was having a stressful time too. Guess it couldn't sleep either! It was kicking so vigorously whatever position I was lying. By the end of the night, I was having migraine and not up to anything else but just lying in bed - with loads of housework put on hold.

I've been drinking so much water, trying to flush out the caffeine out of my system, I practically have to pee every 5 minutes. Yikes.


Then the routine visit to the Dr revealed something that surprised me : I have put on all of 800g since the last visit a month ago. 800g. 0.8 kg. Now where did all those food I ate go?

In view of my not-much-weight-gained situation, I've been told to EAT MORE (can you believe that??!). AND the best thing is that - I dont have to go for the icky Glucose Tolerance Test!! YIIIPPPPEEE!!!