August 18, 2013

Meeting Baby Z For The Very First TIme

As I was waiting for husband to come back in after calling and informing both our parents, the midwife who was attending to me said that once the specialists were ready they would wheel me up to see my baby before they take her to the Royal Childrens Hospital in Yorkhill. Because she had to undergo surgery for gastroschisi, she had to be transferred to where all the expertise was. And believe me, it was all in Yorkhill. Yorkhill was were all cases of gastroschisis would be treated; and this was for the whole of Scotland by the way!

Husband came back in after all the phone calls and managed to squeeze in praying solat syukur by my bedside; a little thank you to Allah s.w.t. that everything went well even though it was sudden and pretty much terrifying! It was almost 12.00am and we still hadn't seen our baby yet. Finally the midwife got a call and they said that they were bringing her down to the recovery room. In a bit, we were going to see our little girl and we were beyond excited! Even though we still hadn't thought of a name for her yet and had only decided on the alphabet 'Z'.

In a few minutes the curtains were pulled back and in came a covered incubator with two ladies (who were in charge of moving Z) into our bay. They lifted the covers off the incubator and in there was our little girl, my cuddle-bug.

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She was so tiny and she was still covered in fine hairs (lanugo) which was all over her face, arms and back. I was quite honestly taken a back by it. Thankfully they placed her on her side with a flexi pillow, which meant that we couldn't see the intestines. I again asked the ladies if they knew if all the bowels were healthy and even though they didn't know in depth, they did see that it was all pink (which meant it was healthy!). The ladies also told us that she had a strong set of lungs on her and she was very vocal with it! Again, another good news since we were worried about her lungs being matured enough.

She looked so tiny, lying in her incubator that I was afraid to touch her. I actually asked the ladies if I could touch her! She already had a nasogastric tube in (a tube that goes from the nose into the tummy) and a PICC line in her arm. The realisation of this made me cry and as they wheeled her out to be transferred to Yorkhill, another patient was wheeled into the bay facing me with her baby and I cried some more. I really couldn't stop it.

Initially if all had gone according to plan, I was supposed to undergo an induction at 37 weeks to go through the birthing process naturally. At that time I would be booked into a single room where after Z was transferred I wouldn't be surrounded by moms and their babies. But because I had a C-Section, that wasn't an option as they had to monitor my progress. All my vitals were checked almost hourly including the pee bag that was inserted during surgery.

By the time I had to go up into the ward, it was time for husband to go home. Even though I was pretty much drugged up to my eyeballs, I couldn't sleep. It was at that time that I managed to update my close friends and family about what had happened. Some of them new about Z's condition and some didn't. I took the time to explain it all to them, well at least until my battery ran out. I couldn't help but think that I reached the hospital at 7-ish pm and at 8.26pm, Z had already greeted the world with her high pitched cries! I desperately wished that husband was with me but unfortunately he wasn't allowed. :(

Saying that this whole journey was emotional is basically an understatement, I have to say. No words can actually describe how hard it was to be away from my baby at that point. At the end I managed to fall asleep in the ward and woke up the next morning still drugged up with my midwife, Hazel, moving me into a double room where for the time being I would be alone. And they would try to put in another Mom whose baby was not with her to share with me. I now it sounds mean but I requested that it be that way. I just couldn't take being reminded with every sound, cry and baby talk that my little one wasn't with me.

I know I sound like a real weakling, but quite honestly; I am. A lot of friends and family have said that we're strong to have gone through this, but I really am not. Most of the times I was overwhelmed and highly emotional. And yes, I would cry like a freaking baby (erm…even now actually).

I swear, post-pregnancy hormones are so shitty!



August 15, 2013

The Labour Story Part 3

Once in the labour ward it was all a mess of doctors, midwives and anaesthesiologist coming in and out to see husband and I and all of a sudden one of the midwives was putting on the anti-embolism socks on and was telling husband to go and get ready. All this while I kept asking husband to call both our parents; that was the only thing on my mind. That I want them to know that we were going in for surgery and to forgive me just in case anything...undesirable happens. Yes, I know; I'm the worst case scenario type girl.

Right before entering the theatre, I asked for husband's forgiveness and said my prayers as they rolled me into the OT. It was a blur of events as I was lifted of the gurney and made to sit on the bed with my back to the anaesthesiologist as she prepped me for surgery. The main thing that I was repeated told was to relax and not to tense up my shoulders. Obviously what happened was I got really tense. One of the nurses helped by getting me to lean on him. It was an elderly man who I have to say was very, very comforting. Not just to me but to husband as well when he came in.

I have no idea how big the needles were or even what was injected into the spin but honestly, it hurt like a b*tch. Different people say different things; so for me, that puppy really hurt. That was the time that tears started streaming uncontrollably from my eyes. As they positioned me, the anaesthesiologist (her name was Juliana I think) realised I was crying and started comforting me as well. Thinking back they were really sweet to help wipe my tears as my arms were basically outstretched on the table.

As they were preparing for the surgery I one of the midwives helped, err, shave the part of my lady bits that are near the cut site. I could also start feeling my legs very slowly going numb. Juliana tested the numbness by spraying something cold on parts of my body. Until she was satisfied that everything was numb then husband was brought in, wearing scrubs. He sat next to my head and I could see that he cried.

We were both saying our prayers and as they started the surgery I asked husband to tell me about his day. I know, such a random thing to ask from him but I just really wanted to be distracted. Obviously I wasn't feeling any pain but I felt all the pulling, pushing and even tugging. And then I started shivering, or more like chattering. It was terrible, husband got scared and immediately asked Juliana what was happening and she reassured him that it was normal.

All I wanted to do was close my eyes, but according to husband the more I closed my eyes the more I would chatter. Which was why he kept asking me to focus on him, to look at him. Suddenly, what we heard was a very loud and shrill cry. Our baby was out! We were worried that her lungs wouldn't be strong. Okay, I think I forgot to add this in the second part of the story but because we were in a rush I only got one steroid shot. The steroids are usually given to boost the strength of the lungs of preemie babies but there wasn't enough time for us to wait to get the second shot.

As we heard our baby cry, the both of us started crying. Although in a split second I started worrying about the bowels, if they were all still healthy or not. If the bowels were unhealthy, it would be removed. That would mean that my baby would have a short bowel syndrome; which ultimately effects the amount of nutrition she can absorb thus her growth would be compromised.

Baby was passed on to the specialists who were present in the OT. They would do the obligatory checks on her and proceed to wrap the bowels that are out in cling wrap. Because there was a hole in her belly this means that she would lose body heat really quickly and it was crucial for them to keep her warm. When I say cling wrap, it literally was the cling wrap that we use to pack leftovers!

Once they were done with her, they rolled her up next me husband and me to have a quick 5 min look at her and then took her up to the special care unit in SGH. t that time I still didn't get an answer if everything was okay with my babe as the specialists would do more checks upstairs in the special care unit.

As this was happening, the doctors were in the midst of trying to close me up and that was when I felt pressure on my chest. And it left me breathless and it hurt. Juliana increased the dosage of the drugs and I started feeling massively nauseated and in went more drugs into my system. Once the surgery was done, the doctor told me that we got her out right in time and that everything looked good. A big fat sigh of relief from both husband and I when we heard this.

And I was then wheeled into the recovery room. I finally asked husband if he managed to call both our parents but unfortunately he didn't. He went back out and this time called both our parents to update them.

To be continued...


The Labour Story Part 2

Throughout the whole day husband, who kept checking up on me, was incredibly positive. Even at this point, he was still being very positive! Later on he told me that he knew something was wrong but didn't want to scare me some more. I changed three heavy flow pads before I could even try to walk out of the door. And even then, with every step I took I could feel more and more water gushing.

The ride to the hospital was a tense one with husband asking me every few minutes if I was in pain. At that time I was too much in a state of panic to notice anything else. But I knew that I had to get my act together before reaching the hospital and that's what I did. When we reached SGH, I had to stop every few steps because I started feeling some pain.

Entering the Maternity Assessment Unit, we were greeted by one of the midwives who immediately took me to the toilet when I told her the colour of the discharge. One look at it and she said to me, 'looks like you're going to behaving you're baby today'. I was in total shock and disbelief.

She walked me back to the bed and and told husband, 'You're not going anywhere tonight, you're going to have your baby!'. Husband was stunned. We were barely prepared. Thinking that it was going to be a checkup or maybe even they would tell us to come back we went to the hospital without my maternity bag. Honestly even that wasn't prepared; it was a work in progress! Anyways, by then I was hooked up to so many machines all to monitor baby's heart rate and my blood pressure.

In a few minutes, a doctor came over to check up on me and explained the situation. The neon green/yellow and the yellow bits in my water was meconium; my baby's poo. She had already poop in the waters and it was crucial to get her out. Even though her heart was beating nice and strong, for an active baby she was moving less than usual and that was worrying. On top of that my contractions were far apart and I wasn't even dilated.

To make things worse, they couldn't find my file that held all my information of my pregnancy thus far. Every time I head in for an appointment I would be seen by a different doctor, so I was asked who my my consulting doctor, I was stumped. Luckily they managed to get my file and after consulting with her colleagues, the doctor came back to me with a semi grim look on her face.

Since there was meconium in my waters and I wasn't dilated (not even an inch), we didn't have the luxury of waiting for it to happen. After everything the doctor said, the only words that were ringing in my ears were, 'we have to do a C-Section, and we have to do it now'. Not only were we worried that my baby would swallow the poop but because my baby's bowels were exposed the fact that she pooped could actually affect the bowels as well.

Husband and I were really scared at that time but of course, anything for the health of our baby. Even if it did mean surgery to get her out. Before I knew it I was changing into the hospital robe and getting wheeled into the labour ward.

To be continued...


August 11, 2013

The Labour Story Part 1

I woke up on 9/7 with excruciating cramp-like pains. Staying in bed, I reached for husband's tablet and googled 'What do contractions feel like?' and it seemed like I was having all the symptoms. Not only that I was having massive amounts of discharge. To the point that I would wake up thinking that I had actually peed in bed! And yes, it was one of those mornings were I shot up from bed, running (okay exaggerating, walking quickly) to the toilet thinking 'Good God, I wet the bed!'  only to find that it was just massive amounts of discharge. Since my baby was diagnosed with gastroschisis, my checkups were extremely frequent, to the point that at this time I was in the hospital every week. I had told the midwife about the discharge but as long as there wasn't discolouration and a foul smell it was all okay. So yeah, back to the story....

The cramps were actually so bad that I started tearing up as I was talking to husband. He immediately dialled the number to the Maternity Assessment Unit in Southern General Hospital (SGH), where I was registered. I composed myself as the phone was ringing with my maternity record book in hand.

After describing the pain I was having, I was told in response that it was probably not contractions because I sounded very calm on the phone. Again I started tearing up because I was in pain and it was brushed off as nothing due to how calm I sound (!!!). After hanging up, I started crying (Okay, I should probably warn you that, there was a whole lot of tears/crying going on). Husband wanted to stay home with me but I told him that it would be fine, plus he had a training/post grad program that he needed to participate in uni that day.

After going to pee again, I notice a few red spots but it was nothing too significant to make me call the midwife again. I made a hot water bag (those things are the bomb, I swear!) and decided to watch some movies to distract myself from the pain.

I was 34 weeks pregnant and paranoid beyond belief. I even googled the chances of my baby being safe and healthy if the worst case scenario were to happen; that I went into labour. A huge weight lifted off my shoulders when all the websites that I checked cited that babies born after or during their 34th have a 100% chance of survival. Paranoid much? But how can I not be? Not only does my baby have gastroschisis, she would be a preemie as well. Talk about a double whammy! :(

Around 5pm-ish, as I was watching 'The Croods', I felt a big gush of water and I thought, 'WTF...did I just pee???!!!'. In the toilet I found my panty liner soaked and it was neon yellow/green with chunky bits on it. I got scared, something about it was not right. I managed to quickly call husband and told him to get home now!

Right after I talked to him, I felt another gush of water and I knew that this was bad...real bad. I broke down crying. Alone, sitting on the toilet bowl, I was bawling my eyes out. I couldn't walk two steps without dripping all over the floor. Thinking back, I think I was also upset that I was making my house dirty, go figure!

It seemed like it took forever before husband finally got home (although it was actually 15mins; he rode his bicycle a'la Chris Hoy!) and when he saw me his face fell. He got the phone,  my record book and dialled for the Maternity Assessment Unit in SGH again. Again, it took only 5 minutes for them to take my information and get the midwife on the line but to me it was forever. Especially when they said, 'I'm sorry I'm just looking for your information'. I just wanted to scream my head off at them but instead I chose to whimper pathetically on the line. After all the mandatory questions and answers, we finally got to the part where I said 'I think my waters have broken and my baby has gastroschisis'. The reply: 'Please head over to the Maternity Assessment Unit immediately!'.

To be continued...


August 9, 2013

Letting The Cat Out Of The Bag

For the last one month, there has been a new person that has completely taken over my heart (yeah, husband was kicked out!) and who is always on my mind. Yes, you read it right; it has already been a month (exactly) that I've had my lil bubba.

My baby was born premature at 34 weeks and 5 days and with a medical condition called gastroschisis on 9 July 2013 at 8.26pm. Yeap, my baby was born on the day of my two year wedding anniversary. It's funny how she decided to come early right after I posted this post talking about celebrating my anniversary after she makes her grand entrance into this world.

When I was 14 weeks pregnant, my baby was diagnosed with the condition called gastroschisis. in simple terms, gastroschisis is a birth defect where the baby's belly doesn't form properly which results in the baby's bowels sticking outside of the body next to the belly button. Of course, this medical defect can be fixed with surgery after the baby is born. But the real challenge is waiting for the bowels to adapt into the body and start functioning regularly. All this is done with very close monitoring of the milk intake, with the weighing of nappies and what not.

So right now, my baby; although doing well, is still in the children's hospital under observation.
I know, many will probably wonder how did I manage to be so happy during my pregnancy knowing that all the while my baby will need medical attention as soon as she's born. honestly, I took it one day at a time. When we found out, I was devastated. I had never imagined anything like this could ever happened but it did. Of course I went down the 'why is all this happening to me' road and I even went down the 'my body has failed me and my baby which is why there's a defect' road. Unfortunately there is no answer for all this.

And yes, there really isn't. Although the number of cases has increased in UK over the least 50 or so years, there is still no solid/proper reason on why gastroschisis happens. It could be a young mum (which I really am not), drinking and/or smoking (both of which we don't do) and of course the most vague answer of all; environmental factors. So you can see why it felt as though I was failing (or at least my body was); in making a beautiful, perfect and healthy baby. It got so bad that I was basically doing nothing but sleep on the couch for a few days, not wanting to eat or drink. It was only when husband asked, 'Don't you love our baby anymore?', that I realised I was being a total and complete idiot.

There were doctors who could help us and more importantly, there is Allah s.w.t. behind us every step of the way. He would only test us to our abilities, not more and not less. And I had complete faith in Him that nothing bad will happen to my little. She would always have His blessings.

Although, it is difficult begin this positive all the time. Of course at times I felt jealous and would start questioning why others had it so much easier than me? Even my delivery; doctors had to perform an emergency C-Section on me to get my bubba out. And sitting on the table while someone was injecting me with all sorts of drugs, I cried. After all that, when they wheeled my baby away, I cried whenever I heard someone else's baby cry.

Thanks to Allah s.w.t. though, for giving me my husband. Husband would always remind me that there's a reason behind all of this. That this will indeed make us stronger, as parents and partners. I don't know if I have become stronger, but I love my husband and baby with all of my being, and every inch of my soul.

 I have written down things as they were happening and I'm going to be posting it on the blog; just because I want to remember this and I want to make sure that my baby, my lil Z, knows what a strong person she is right front the very beginning.

A Getting There Mama

August 8, 2013

Eid Mubarak & Salam Aidilfitri 2013

Eid Mubarak and Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir & Batin to all.



Me, Husband and Baby Z

August 6, 2013

The Preggers Diary:And It's A...

*drumroll please*



*more drumrolls please*





*throws confetti*

I am absolutely thrilled to share that it's confirmed that we're having a girl! Even though we've known for a few months, it wasn't confirmed confirmed and we've actually held off from buying anything girlie. Well except for SoulSista who went crazy and bought our lil bub a hot pink furry onesie and bright yellow skinny jeans. Bubba is gona be oh-so-fashionable! ;) And now the most difficult thing is; agreeing on a name that husband and I both love. Errrks!

Anyways, more photos taken at Kelvingrove Park during our wannabe maternity shoot! ;)







Good Afternoon Scotland, Good Evening Malaysia



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