dah pantang memantang: iii

bengkung? what bengkung?

four days until i’m done with pantang! however, sadly i haven’t been able to put on my bengkung for the past one week. not because i’m one of the ‘rebellious’ people who don’t like the bengkung, but because one day a week ago, a mysterious rash decided to take over the frontal area of my torso downwards.

it’s mysterious, because it only attacked the frontal area of my body (?).

been searching up online about this mysterious rash. i had my one-month checkup with my gynae and she said it’s a form of urticaria, that’d go away by itself soon. in all honesty, i believe that it’s going off but it’s leaving horrible-looking bruises/scars!

it actually started from my leg upwards and stopped at my torso. initially i thought it was triggered by a pair of wool socks that i’d been wearing quite often (because they’re super cute, black base with pink and blue stripes, hello? elok kan?). it’s quite a long pair of socks, so the day i started seeing small raised bumps covering a big area of both my shins, i thought it was sock-triggered-

until i started to see more of these similar red bumps, appearing at the frontal area of my thighs.

what?! how can these suddenly appear on my thighs if they’re sock-triggered, kan?!

so my siblings, mother and i thought it might be the param that my urut lady used on me (because she would smother it all over the frontal area of my tummy, thighs and legs). we thought it was probably too hot for my body that it decided to retaliate. either that, or my body absorbed all the heat from it and the accumulation was too much for my weak body to take in to a point that my autoimmune system became all topsy turvy and decided to attack itself, causing the unwanted blood-vessel inflammation (which itches and burns/stings like c r a y when the weather/temperature gets too hot, or when something grazes against the inflamed area).

the raised bumps would become bigger, move to form a huge lump of raised bump that would swell, and later on becoming coarse, then it’d flatten or die out- still itching and burning when it gets too hot, still hot to touch; but as it gets better, it leaves the affected skin area looking really hyper-pigmentated.

what is this m y s t e r y  r a s h ?

i also thought it could be something related to the fact that i just gave birth. ppups maybe? (thankfully though, it doesn’t affect my whole body, so it can’t be ppups, can it?).

four days till i complete my confinement, and the day i’m free to roam about will be the day that i make a trip to the dermatologist’s.

meanwhile..

baby truly loves his 2am to 10am wakey-time schedule, aaah! lets hope he eventually learns to differentiate day and night, and acquire the ability to sleep at the right time (with much perseverence by his mama & tokma while his mother trains him).

bismillah!

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dah pantang memantang: ii

hi guys! it’s been what, thirty two days? here i am, finally, typing on my b o o t i p u l macbook once again! just so you know, my macbook’s been my closest companion since the year 2012 (wow, it’s been five years?) and i feel so rejuvenated just reuniting with it! :insert really huge heart emoji right here:

i got my macbook back when my old vaio’s battery started dying on me (i used that vaio since i was fifteen? meaning, it lasted about 3 years and endured all the pain/hardship of my excruciatingly active and heavily-filled-with-.psd-and.ai-files foundation years- okay la kan for a vaio yang tak upgrade apa apa pun?) and i got it from taylors’ e-xperience store (which i heard, has closed down? ruginya you all yang baru masuk ni, dah la famous amous pun takdak dah?) luckily, using a student discount! in this case, Godbless that super cekik-darah university.

anywho. back to pantang.

i had three solid weeks of being traditionally tended to by my urut lady. she’s a swell lady who’s almost all the time in a jolly mood! sometimes a tad bit too jolly for my super sensitive boy though, who wakes up almost immediately after she says, “assalamualaikum!“.

during those three weeks, the morning routine would go as so:
1. wake up (if lucky, with some energy left, if not, basically on auto-pilot mode)
2. feed baby while mother (who’s also almost all the time zombified by a whole night’s session of her grandma duty as she assists me with burping the poor boy) picks up the urut lady
3. receive beautiful relaxing muscle-loosening & vein-straightening traditional massage, bathe self using traditionally prepared water containing a combination of herbs
4. kecoh a bit as i get dressed because simultaneously the urut lady helps me bathe my boy and get him dressed
5. tunku, bengkung & feeding time again

those however, were super tough weeks. now that i’ve gone past my 30th day, alhamdulillah things seem to be slightly better – or rather, i successfully managed to muster all the patience i have and utilize it whenever necessary.

twelve days left till i could have a taste of teh again! (looks over to baby who’s almost always windy)

.. or not.

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dah pantang memantang : i

i can’t believe nobody warned me about how horrifying pantang would be like?

most women give out warnings that lean more to soothing the fear of delivery & complications that arise, yes, but never about how the doctor would presume your agreement about conducting an emergency episiotomy on you, causing a whole lot of bleeding post-delivery and the fact that you’d be feeling a whole lot of swelling and stinging sensation (topped with negative thoughts of your stitches tearing apart, in slow motion, with that slow-mo “rip” sound- adoi susah bila imaginative sangat ni).

everybody warned me about 44 confinement days of no luxurious food and hot moments with your SO (which i dont mind, considering the numerous amount luxury foods i’ve been binging on and ticking off my list during my last month of pregnancy), but no one ever mentioned that i’d have to inch my way to the toilet (either supporting myself with the wall or being assisted by someone), have someone fetch the pipe for me since i can’t squat up without assistance to reach it, take a whole ten minutes to literally sit (on the bed! not even on a hard chair!) and get up, have someone help me put on my undies and socks (in which most cases, mama would help me with) since one musn’t bend down as much.

GOD KNOWS how much sweat i’ve been pooling for the past two weeks- 30% derived from just sitting down and getting up from the bed, 30% from attempting to urinate/get up/dab the youknowwhat area dry to prevent from any infection, 10% from changing my beautiful baby’s diapers (not complaining, but diaperchanging in the first week felt like completing a whole 7km marathon).

and just 30% itself from the fear of a bowel movement and actually sitting through one, altogether.

a thousand apologies to all you mothers out there who had to go through pantang, whether it was easy or difficult for you, whether you had assistance or had to suffer from it alone with nobody around to help (this, i can’t even try to imagine). you guys deserve the whole world’s love and care.

there’s no wonder as to why Allah had made our mothers’ feet our “entrance to heaven” because oh heaven’s be, just the first phase of being a mother (to just one) is already a whirlpool of challenges.

remind me to kumpul enough for a new LV bag for my mom one day.

tapi of course, after all the struggle, you eventually turn to face the little innocent creature who came out of you, sleeping safe and soundly. that’s when you know it’s all worth it.

on another note: tudia, nak poopoo rasa macam delivering for the second time. i literally shivered my way through a bowel movement.

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hikayat hidayatku iv: a push a-head

“pop bop!”

ag and i quickly looked at each other.

sayang kentut ka

i shook my head.

sayang rasa macam bunyi tu mai dari perut tapi la ni tak rasa apa apa?

we stared at each other’s faces for a good 10 seconds.

b tolong selak kein tengok kalau ada darah ka ayaq?

mm takdak apa..

anxiously, we waited for any signs of blood or water but even after a while, there was still, nothing.

the doctor came in and it was already 3pm. she took off the layers of my blanket and smiled.

“that’s something. you’re bleeding and wet. doesn’t look nice. looks like you’re verrrrry ready, and lets hope so. i’ll have my nurse clean you up first”

so that explains the popping and bopping.

so then two nurses came over to insert a catheter inside my you-know-what for me to pee through. in all honesty i felt the pressure.

sakitke?”

i shook my head.

mesti la kan. kalau dah boleh rasa ni dah meraung jerit dah ni

i sighed. a midwife then came into the room and casually pushed her hand into my you-know-what, checking me. this time, i felt the pressure of her hand cupping onto something and shifting it left and right- simultaneously, seeing my whole lower body shift from left to right.

ni fully dilate dah ni! okay i panggil doctor because you’re ready for delivery”

then, the doctor came in again. all the nurses came into the room wearing paper aprons, and one of them even carried the doctor’s boots into the room.

wow. i did not know giving birth would look this serious.

note: bare in mind that throughout this whole delivery moment i have been resisting and breathing through the pain of 148-189 levelled contractions. in a way, Godbless epidural but the fact that i still felt as if i had none, was so surreal.

epidural or none, in all honesty, contractions were HELL intense.

the midwife came into the room and told me that in the early stages of pushing, she’s responsible in teaching me how (theoretically) since i couldn’t feel my legs. i told her the epidural wasn’t high enough, so i could actually feel contractions.

dan dan la pulak anaesthetist tu mai masuk bilik tu time tu?

“how’s your epi? is it working?”

i shook my head.

“its okay. nurse, just shut her epidural off. by the time she reaches the later stage she can already feel her contractions, which is better that way”

“uhm but doctor i’m already feeling it”

“even better!”

so they shut my epidural off, and right there and then, the contractions intensified.

still shivering to no end, i was taught to push 3 times for each lasting contractions, as hard as i could, and try my best to feel the pressure below.

i tried doing as i was told, and they said i wasn’t pushing well enough.

again, i tried my best and by then i could already feel the contractions happening at the lower-end of my tummy, closer to my you-know-what.

THE PAIN WAS SURREAL – but i knew that if everyone else could do it, so could i.

dah nampak rambut dah ni, come on puan sikit lagi

i pushed to no end, but i suppose it wasn’t as strong as i thought it could be. the midwife then got up and called my doctor in.

casually, she sat in position and said, “with every contraction, push the hardest you can”

after what seemed to be three or four pushes, i heard a casually “clack!” and saw a nurse, assisting her on the right hand, pulling a pair of scissors off of her.

i knew i was going to suffer during pantang, and right there and then i knew i would have to bleed so much more.

“final push ya, bismillahirrahmanirrahim”

i held onto the metal by the sides, took a deep breath in and recited nabi yunus’ prayer, a final go.

“deep breath in, 1, 2, 3, PUSH!”

everybody in the room screamed, some reminding me to feel it at my bottom, and push till i run out of breath. after a while of pushing in the same breath, i heard nothing but a highpitched “beeeeep” at the back of my head, as all the painful tragedies i went through, all the suffering i felt throughout my pregnancy flashed before my eyes.

i thought to myself: this is it, i can’t hear a thing, the pain is crucially severely painful, my you-know-what is damaged, i can’t feel my legs, i can’t feel my head, my breath’s running out..

zuliana. bismillah. Ash hadu’al lailahailallah-

when out if nowhere, i felt something slide out of me from below. automatically, i fell on my back when suddenly i felt a big thump on my stomach.

there he was, bloody and blue. everything was blurry, but i felt my hands run through his slimy hair before a midwife took him to the incubator for him to be cleaned up.

i closed my eyes, slowly regaining my hearing again and listened to the doctor talking to her nurses about how my stitches should be done as so, and why so, not the other way etc.

as they were stitching me up, i felt ag still gripping my hand. i turned to look at him, and he bent over to kiss my forehead.

“good job sayang”

i smiled, and in a few seconds i felt someone (apparently the midwife) casually pulling my hospital gown down, and a warm sensation on my chest.

i choked on my tears as i lifted my left hand to touch it.

there he was. our precious little hero, neatly tucked on my chest, underneath my hospital gown. he was red as ever, and warmer than my cold numb hands could ever feel.

ag and i, absolutely in love with him, were staring at him so closely, both kissing him in intervals, but both, quiet as ever.

bila b boleh azankan dia?

nak azankan dia?” the doctor quickly asked.

ag nodded his head.

azankanla kat situ pun boleh. lean in to his ear and azankan”

it was a moment, so mesmerizing. by then, baby had already opened his eyes.

indeed, Allah is truly the Almighty.

baby was already being bundled up in the incubator, and ag was already glued to the machine, hands and eyes already stuck to the baby.

muka dia macam sayang

i smiled.

mata macam b,” i said, seeing baby turning to look my way with eyes opened.

i was then given a whole hour to feed him after being taught how to.

after the whole event, as exhausted as i was, never have i felt as calm and in love with a baby.

finally, after all the suffering and sacrificing- there he was, visually in my arms, physically with me, the one i could call my own.

our own.

hidayat bin mohd hezry.

Alhamdulillah.

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hikayat hidayatku iii : doa

“what’s the reading, b?”

“mm 56”

i felt contractions suddenly waving in.

dah ada epidural pun sama ja macam takdak,” i muttered between breaths.

“so, macam mana?

by now my left arm was already hooked onto the bp drip that had to go hand in hand with the epidural catheter behind my back, and i had a bp monitor hooked onto my right arm.

i looked over to the ctg monitor again. my contraction was at 87. i breathed in and out in a quick manner.

sakit b,” i said, and continued to zikr.

see. this is where i applied nabi yunus’ doa (QS. Al-Anbiya’ 21:87) which goes:

i kept repeating this over and over again, since i even entered the maternity ward. i swear in the name of Allah, it calmed me down more than i thought i could ever be.

i closed my eyes, squeezed the life out of ag’s hand and suddenly the contraction started decreasing.

i could breathe again.

12.30 pm, and my doctor finally came into the labour room in such a jolly manner.

“ha! hello how are you doing! you’re on epidural right? ok, come lets get you checked!”

wah so happy ah you?

“wow! this is good, you’re already dilated to 3cm. lets see how much further you can go. this is good progress!”

i nodded, withstanding a contraction that suddenly wanted to come into the picture.

“see there you’re contracting!”

“yes doctor i can feel it. epidural macam tak epidural pun haha”

takpa, at least you look like you’re still okay. kena lah sakit kalau tak tak bersalin lah”

… ok.

she left the room, our anaesthetist walked in.

sakit?”

i nodded.

SANGAT

okay i up-kan your dose a bit

“b, jom main charades nak?

my whole body was shivering when i asked ag that question. he smiled.

“or uno nak uno?”

“cards katrumah

we laughed.

it was almost 1.30, and the nurse walked into the room. at this point, the epidural’s side-effects kicked in. my whole body was involuntarily shaking and shivering, and i couldn’t speak a full sentence without my teeth chattering. i needed 3 layers of blanket over my body to keep myself warm, but i was still shivering to no end.

“ok puan, doctor suruh masukkan pitocin drip okay. ni untuk speed up labour puan

i watched in horror as she hooked the bag of mamposlaaku artificial oxytocin onto the bar, then poking it into my left hand.

puan akan rasa contraction semakin kuat, kalau sakit tak tahan bagitau ya, kita naikkan dosage epidural puan kalau tak bp puan atau baby akan jatuh

i nodded and closed my eyes.

this time i felt queasy. requested ag for kurmas, around 4-5 in which he fed me. i then felt much much better.

1.30 pm, ag left for prayers. contractions were getting stronger and more frequent, more of like a one to one-minute time ratio.

suddenly i began to feel contractions over a the top-area of my torso. i called the nurse in.

akak.. boleh tak-

when out of nowhere, our anaesthetist popped into the room once again.

sakit?”

wow, how’d he know?

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hikayat hidayatku ii : i rasa i kena barai dulu

“puan, please settle down, we’ll have your bp taken and internally checked in a moment yea,” the nurse said as i changed into the hospital gown i’d requested for.

in the room with me were my husband, mother, and mother in law. all, who seemed equally nervous.

she took my bp and internally checked me.

speaking of internal exams- why did nobody ever warn me about it?! do you know how uncomfortably painful an internal examination is?! the midwife’s hand felt almost as if someone slipped in burning slime into your you-know-what!

the whole nightmare started at 6 a.m, right after i woke up to do my subuh prayer.

i started feeling cramps, similar to period pains and it slowly started to put pressure onto my you-know-what.

it felt as if someone was slowly squeezing my uterus, placing a tonne of bricks on my lower back, and burning my you-know-what, all at one go.

my mother was pretty sure that i could hold it back- that i could overcome the nightmare i was going through; but two hours later, i couldn’t pull through any longer.

“ma, i need it”

“you sure?”

i looked over to ag.

“sayang takleh tahan”

he nodded, stood up and started rubbing my back. at that point, i couldn’t feel anything else but the pain in one go- attacking then subsiding at a rhythmic pace.

i called the nurse into our ward and requested for an epidural.

puan kalau nak epidural kena confirm ya nak epidural ya?

i nodded as i leaned over to ag who was still rubbing my back. the contractions of course, were already becoming deadly.

ag accompanied me as i was wheeled into the labour room. my mother stayed outside since it was policy, that only the husband is allowed inside. as we arrived, the midwife did another internal examination and true enough, i was dilated at 1cm! hoorah!

hoorah? did i just use a word used typically in a sentence that’s meant to convey happiness? more like OUCH.

anywho.

“are you sure you want epidural? if you think you can hold it in, we’ll wait for the lady anaesthetist that you requested for, but if you can’t hold it in, there’s another man anaesthetist in the other room giving another patient her dosage?”

initially, i wanted to wait but as soon as another contraction hit me, i immediately asked for his help.

he rushed into the room as soon as he was done with the other lady beside our room. slowly, the midwife got me to sit up into position.

“hi i just want to know if you’ve been briefed about epidural?”

“i think i know the basics but please just refresh me with it”

“okay you see, there’s a 1/1000 chance that if i give you a shot, you would be paralyzed. this is because your tunjang is right beside your spine, so if you’re not calm when i inject you, and if i can’t find your spinal cord, there’s a high possibility that you may face complications, leading to paralysis. are you aware of that?”

my heart skipped a beat. i looked over to ag who was supporting my weight.

“sayang sure nak ambik? takmau tahan?”

i looked down at my tummy and at that moment, a contraction started to attack me once again.

“i want it. do it”

“okay. you’re giving me permission and consent ya. your pain threshold is at 7.5/10 by the way. super low for a 1cm dilation so i’ll proceed ya”

i nodded, feeling ag exhaling a deep breath as he started to zikir.

as the anaesthetist rubbed my lower back with that cooling numb solution-majigy, my whole life flashed in front of me: my childhood, my highschool years, life in college, the day i got married and all the nights i spent watching movies at the comfort of a home- a husband i could cuddle with, a cute kitty who’d snuggle between us, and a house i could call home; if anything went wrong with this procedure, let alone the whole delivery, i could lose everything- and by everything, i meant everyone else i love, would be losing me too.

i snapped out.

“okay, there should be no complications because it’s in and if in half an hour you start to feel tingly, its working. i put a low dosage on you so you should still be able to feel your legs”

Godbless.

so the trick to have an epidural going on well is most probably to stay as relaxed as possible, at that in-between-contractions phase. noted.

so this is it. the waiting game.

barai.

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hikayat hidayatku i : so this is it

“baby’s all well. you just haven’t opened. tak ada jalan langsung. cervix is very favourable, baby is engaged, just no way out”

i sighed, wondering if it’s even possible for me to naturally have a go at this.

i had sifoo lay on my lap as she slept peacefully, while i waited for the final meal i could sukahati eat before my pantang starts. i asked ag for a subway wrap, and that was indeed, the final meal before my whole life had changed.

i looked over at sifoo who was sleeping soundly. i bent down to stroke her head, asking her to pray for us. she returned my request with a tiny “mew”.

i had tears in my eyes- knowing that i’d have to leave her for a long time; and suddenly realizing the fact that i was basically walking into a whole new chapter of my life- no more just my husband and i walking around in midvalley, no more cooking for two, no more waking up with just sifoo meowing at us, no more two-of-us dates; not that i wasn’t happy about receiving a new love into our lives, but in all honesty, i wish i had more time and did more things, just the two of us.

that was the last of sifoo that i could remember.

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