Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Engku Amani Safiyya

the baby's name came to me one fine day. i was hardset to name the baby 'adila' and loved ariff's suggestion of 'safiyya' but i was not keen of similar sounding ends for the two names. i badly wanted to keep the first name but could not find a good second name to go along with it, except safiyya.

then one day, i came across 'amani' and loved the combination of the two names, along with their meanings - hope and pure. so hubby and i decided on the names and made a pact not to tell anyone to keep the element of surprise, and to keep the boys from babbling to their friends and teachers. everyone was using the name 'adila' when mentioning the baby, so yeah...good that noone knew.

after amani's arrival, i did not see her at all, let alone held her for the first 24 hours. amani was admitted to the special care nursery for observation. on the second day, i had the opportunity to visit her in the nursery occasionally and started to breastfeed her. that night, the nurse would call me every time she woke up for a feed. amani slept quite a bit and drank very little the fist couple of days.

an overnight observation became 3 days and just when i thought amani would be discharged, the nurses informed me that she had jaundice, although very low, and was to stay another night in the SCN to get phototherapy treatment. alhamdulillah, the jaundice was detected early and the pediatrician started her therapy early on, as she needed only a day.

finally, after 5 days at the SCN, amani was able to go home with us, in time for Hari Raya. her final diagnosed for her stay in the SCN was 'prematurity'. i'm actually surprised she was considered premature as abangbee akmal was not even though he born at 36weeks & 2 days, only 2 days difference between amani & akmal. with amani being considered premature, there's a long list of things to monitor and to look out for - her breathing, her jaundice, her eating, her activeness, her sleeping schedule.

initially i was very stressed. i was tired and not sure if i could handle the monitoring. i was afraid i'd miss something and it would affect amani. my eyes were on her 24 hours a day. when she slept, i looked at her chest, i felt for her breathing, i shook her a bit to see how she responded. but after 3 days, she finally seemed settled and that calmed me down tremendously.

amani looked like a newborn the first week, she felt like a newborn for the whole week. finally she had the baby look after being home 3-4 days. she looks fuller and rounder now, not just all skin and bones, as she initially did.

her feeding schedule was all over the place but we're getting there. she would wake up every hour, every half an hour something, particularly at night, and sleep for hours during the day. but for the past 2 days she'll be awake on time, every 3 hours, drinking a good 2oz of milk everytime.

amani's siblings are estatic with her arrival. kakak is very welcoming and is not at all disturbed by amani's cries at night. her brothers are excited, as excited as they were when amira was first brought home. they are fighting to hold her but with premature condition, we dont allow any of them to hold her.

we're taking it one day at a time with amani, hoping she'd be on better schedule as the day progressed and that she'd put on more weight, insyaAllah.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Week 36 - Baby's Arrival

because of the long Raya leave, which means all of the doctors related to my delivery will be away - the gynae, the anesthetist and the pediatrician, my gynae and i planned the delivery properly. not too early so that at least the baby will be at a good weight and good age yet not too late so that she will be looked after by the pediatrician post-delivery. so we decided on the 20th, that would be the day the baby turns 36 weeks on the dot.

honestly, i was a bit sceptical about the date. yes, i love the fact that the delivery is brought forward and will be soon but i wasn't feeling any major labour signs except for the occasional but not strong contraction. will anything happen from that, i wasn't too sure.

hubby and i sent the boys and amira to damansara after iftar on monday. then we made our way to the a&e of damansara specialist hospital. admission didn't take too long and before we know it, i was unpacking in the room and getting ready to hooked up to the ctg machine to check the contraction. 30 minutes and no contraction. ok, i was all stressed up. i kept thinking i'll be wheeled into the OT for a c-sect, at this rate. it would be the second sleepless insight for me, i couldn't sleep the night before thinking about the delivery prep and thinking about amira away from us.

while for the previous deliveries i was sent to the labour room around 8-9 am, for this, i was asked to prepare myself at 6.30am. i don't mind the time, actually, i had enough time for subuh and solar hajat, hubby was wide awake after sahur, so there's really no harm in starting early. i was the first in the labour suite, the labour room was still locked. once in there, the nurse gave me enema, checked for dilation, hooked me to a drip and to the pitocin and asked me to wait for the anesthetist for the long-awaited epidural. for amira and for this delivery, i had butterflies (more like eagles) in my tummy thinking about epidural. but alhamdulillah, this was probably the best epidural shot i received out of the 6 times. it was quick and simple and not at all scary (yes, i was super scared).

before long my legs were numb and i was was having contraction every 2-3 minutes. those piton really for to work fast! last night i had nothing and now i was having constant contraction.

while the room was alive with commotion, the nurse walking around checking all the machines and stats, hubby was talking about the movie we switched on, i was shaking from the epidural effects, it suddenly felt weird. my heart was beating fast and i felt really hungry and thirsty and then i felt all confused and weak. i called out to hubby and said, i don't know what's going on but i don't feel good. he quickly called the nurses who came in, looked at the machine and moved me around the bed. they asked me to lay down on my left, propped a pillow behind me, gave me water to sip and did things to the machine.

before long, i felt much better and was able to talk again. hubby said it was a scary moment was my blood pressure fell down to 40 and i was pale. the nurses said the baby's heartbeat dropped and when i was moved on the bed, her heartbeat picked up again. that was undoubtedly a very scary moment.

once i was stabilized, hubby went back to the room to take a short nap and a shower. during hubby's absence, my gynae came to the labour room, she broke my water bag, and ensured me that it will be a lunchtime delivery as i've dilated to 5cm within the 3 hours of being in the labour room. when hubby came back, we just sat watching the movie on the telly and occasionally calling the boys and amira in damansara.

the next couple of hours passed by quickly. the anesthetist came in every now and then to check on the epidural, the nurses kept assuring that it would be soon and hubby and i kept looking at the ctg machine because we couldn't seem to see any contraction. when the nurse came in, we asked her why there was no contraction. she checked and said, ok…its time. err…ok, i wasn't ready actually. it was only 2 hours ago that i was 5cm dilated and now i was 9cm. they called my gynae who ran up the stairs from her clinic.

at 12.30pm, everyone was encouraging me to push but after 3 tries, my gynae said this requires vacuum as the baby's head was tilted, making her head diameter seem bigger than it is. well, asyraf seem to prayed a bit too hard for the baby to be born on the 20th like him, she also tilted her head like him. my gynae used kiwi vacuum to push the baby's head down so that i can push her out. took me 2 pushes and the baby was out at 12.54pm.

for the next 2 hours, we were in the labour room, bonding with the baby, eating, took pictures, updating the boys in damansara. the baby stats were taken and hubby recited the azan to her. then i was wheeled back to the room in the maternity ward while the baby was taken to the nursey to be cleaned and given hepatitis b shot and waited for the pediatrician to give her her first check-up.

while we waited for the pediatrician to come, hubby and i took a nap. i prepared myself to take my first step once the epidural wore off and hubby went to the pasar in front to get food for iftar and sahur. while i waited for hubby to return, the pediatrician came in, bearing some bad news. the baby's oxygen level was low - at 93%, anything below 95% for a baby is worrying - and she had to be monitored in the special care nursery overnight.

i was grateful to be able to rest the first night post-delivery but i was missing the baby. hubby wheeled me into the SCN to have a look at her, she was so very small, and we said good night and see you tomorrow to her.

the delivery was fast and quick and smooth, alhamdulillah but i was so very worried about the baby, and for the third night in a row, i didn't sleep to well.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Week 35 - Calendar-Watching

the latest appointment was nerve-wrecking. we were to see the baby's weight. whether my alternate days fasting had done its job in ensuring the baby is of a good weight to be delivered next week, as planned.

i have been trying to put on some of the baby's weight by consuming loads of milk (almost 3 boxes a day) and yogurt and eggs (if i dont fast. i'll only eat scrambled eggs during the day).

my two bodyguards are always keeping me company.

when i entered the doctor's office, and told her what i've been feeling - contraction, pain in my lower back and top of thighs, she said, that would probably mean the baby have started to go down but let's check to see if i'm right. so i went up on the bed to be scanned. alhamdulillah, the baby's weight shot up from 2.1kg 10 days ago, even exceeding our target 2.5kg and now weighs an estimated 2.7kg. yeay to the milk and eggs. the doctor said, based on this we can target around 2.8 - 2.9kg next week.

so she gave me the admission form and explained what will happen next week. i'm to be admitted after iftar on monday, so that early tuesday morning she can get everything started - pitocin to get the contraction started, epidural, and everything prepped for delivery. hopefully with this early start, the delivery wont be as long as amira's, as i was super tired delivering at 6pm.

for now she wants me to monitor the contraction, monitor any changes, any additional pre-labour signs and just to get ready for monday.

the last of the baby's laundry basket have been cleared. it was really sunny the past week, so i took advantage of the weather and did the load. towels, swaddling blanket, newly-arrived clothes, mittens and her baju raya washed and folded and kept.

i've marinated and froze food (chicken, beef & fish) for me to consume during confinement. i need to regularly top up veggies and potatoes and bread to go along with the frozen items. i've also stocked up on my cereals & milk for the month.

this weekend i'm just concentrating on the hospital and sleepover bags, preparing the baby cot, sterilising the bottles and slowly easing off the Ramadhan meals preparation.

so...just mere hours to go. i'm ready...i think.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Week 34 - Date's All Set

alhamdulillah. at the appointment today, we locked in the date of the delivery. as soon i sat down at her table, my gynae said...have we settled on 23 june? i was confused, when did we say 23? she said, i dont know...its on my notes. i haggled a bit - 23 june would be too closed to Raya and while i probably would be ok, spending Raya in the hospital, i'm not crazy about the idea of the boys and amira being with only their daddy. and i'm scared of jaundice and the fact that the pediatrician will also be on Raya leave.

so we bargained, i said that week is ok but not to close to raya, she said ok but make sure we hit 36 weeks and the baby reaches a good weight. so 36th week falls on 20 june and i have 2 weeks to up my protein intake so that the baby puts on at least another 400 grams (she weighs 2.1kg at today's check up). i've been asked to fast alternate days from tomorrow til the day of the delivery.

her face can't be clearly seen anymore, unlike the previous check-ups. the doctor said she's parked herself at the entrance but not yet engaged. i guess the sporadic tightening i've been feeling the past 2 weeks have been doing its job. the doctor said, good contractions will push your baby down further, so we're just waiting for those to make their appearances.

other than that, everything looks in order. my BP is normal, i lost a bit of weight because of the 11 days of fasting, tightening is good and should maintain or even increase in the next couple of weeks, the baby looks ready, apart from her weight.

i've settled my stuff today. all toiletries moved downstairs, extra t-shirts bought and kept in the downstairs bedroom, kain batiks and binding wrap washed, confinement toiletries bought and kept.

i'll be spending the next two weeks, monitoring the contractions, maintaining my sahur & iftar preparation for hubby and the boys, doing another load of the baby's clothes and preparing bags (hospital and sleepover bags) for me, hubby and the 5 eai/eas.

i hope i get stay on course with my terawikh and rendang mission and my fasting plans. i really dont want to miss more than necessary as i already would need to give 5 days of fasting a miss, from the delivery date to the last day of Ramadhan. insyaallah, let's hope all goes well.


the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery
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