Salam and ***good morning all!
***Yep, its morning no matter at what time of the day is when you take good nutrition!

I've got a longish kind of story today that I want to share of how I delivered my baby boy, Muhammad Riduan Iskandar. For 9 months, I've been planning the perfect vaginal birth complete with fainting husband and all. I was going to be super mom right from the beginning. But subhanallah...Allah is glorious and His plan is WAY better than mine by a kazillion miles. Baby Riduan's birth was full of suspense, critical decisions and a miraculous moment of bringing a tiny version of my husband and I to the world. If you guys want to know what the suspense and critical decision is all about, you guys HAVE to read on. So lets hear Baby Riduan's story ^_^

Morning, Friday 30th March 2012 - Full Term With Way Too Much Energy
So there I was 40 weeks and 6 days into my pregnancy with no signs of labour yet. Past that 40 weeks mark, my husband and I decided that we're going to give it one more week before we have to go in for induced delivery. The doctors worry that my amniotic fluid might not be enough to wait for my natural contraction and my cervix haven't opened up at all. We decided to induce on a Friday night and as usual, I was super busy finishing up the week with Abang - morning at the nutrition club, meeting afterwards with the Shah Alam Herbalife leadership team at another local club, afternoon visiting grandma and then finishing up housework in the evening while waiting for my mum, dad and brothers to arrive and convoy over to the birth center. Seriously, I had no indication that baby Riduan was going to come very very soon on his own natural way. I felt really energised and active the whole day. I even drove the car around! When my family finally arrived, we had a huge dinner. I ate pizza (ok, not at all recommended for a healthy lifestyle =p) and then Nasi Bukhara Briyani. I was so famished! I even took a Herbalife shake just before taking that huge dinner.

9.45pm, Friday 30th March 2012 - Baby, Its Time
I was really enjoying time out with my family that night. At about 9.45pm, I nipped out for a second to go to the loo and lo and behold, I passed my mucus plug! (or bloody show as some people call it). Some people would be scared, but I was super delighted! I got hold of my husband and said "I've just had a bloody show, lets go". I'm pretty sure it was a bit more dramatic than that, cause yeah I am all drama like that hehe. Anyway, eventually the whole house was in an uproar. My family rushed me out the door and straight down to the local birth centre. I told my husband to park a little bit off from the birth centre since I really wanted to get the contraction going.

Here's me arriving at the hospital...yes, way too much energy hehe

And yep, I didn't have to wait long. When I got into the consultation room, the gynae checked me under there and said, "Girl, you just popped your water bag". What! That was fast. So to make it go even faster the doctor put me on a cervix-dilation-medication-thing and that's when the contraction REALLY started going. Heck it was painful! Funny thing is...I remembered it was painful, but if I try to recall how the pain felt I really can't remember. Weird huh? So yes, I'm going for another 6 babies ^_^ *Whoops, my story is going off on a tangent here, lets get back on track...* 

The doctor told me to sleep the pain off...I was thinking, "You crazy woman you!" There is NO WAY I can sleep with this unbelievable pain. The contractions was coming every 5 minutes! But...I just don't have the mood to argue, so me and my husband checked in a ward with 2 beds because hubby dearest needs his rest as well. Once settled in, I took my herbal tea mix and my shake to keep me in good form. Needless to say that I couldn't sleep a wink. I even got up a few times to walk off the contractions and I was exhausted by the time the gynae came around again at 6am. But honestly, the nutrition really did help me to go through the night. I took another round of nutrition then because I was due to go in the labour room at 8.30am and I have the feeling that I need all the energy that I can get.

8.30am, Saturday 31st March 2012 - Cue Suspense Music
8.30am finally came. I took a hot shower, got dressed and actually walked over to the labour room, one flight of stairs up which really helped me to take my mind off the pain. Hubby dearest was right beside me all the way and I felt really great, ready to go through my dream vaginal birth. But then, out of the blue, everything turned upside down.

Once in the labour room, the gynae did a last check up, hooking me up to the baby heartbeat-monitor-thing and prepping me down under. She first tried to find the baby's heartbeat but no matter whichever way the heartbeat sensors were hooked up on me, she couldn't get a proper reading of the baby's heartbeat. She said that my baby might be in distress. Her guess was that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the neck. At that point, my heart just dropped to the floor. And to make matters worse, when she checked out my amniotic fluid it looked a bit green, it might be the baby's poo. There's a danger there of the baby swallowing the poo down and choking on it. Plus I was only dilated at 2cm! The gynae said that if I was 5cm dilated then she's ok just to let things go its natural path but in my state, she lost the confidence to help me deliver baby Riduan. She simply said, save the baby and sign here *while handing over a consent letter for a caesarean birth*. My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking when I took that letter to sign it. I looked undecidedly at my husband and he smiled and nodded. Thank Allah he's there. And with all faith in Allah, I signed the letter. The nurses then quickly prepped me for the surgery and had me wait 30 minutes before the c-section specialist came in. By that time it was already 9.30am and I was super exhausted since I was still experiencing the contraction just like before a natural vaginal birth.

9.30am Saturday 31st March 2012 - The Delivery and Then Some
A nurse came over with a wheel chair and helped me into it. Just before the nurse wheeled me off, the gynae asked me "Don't you want to say goodbye?". I was really in a daze, so saying goodbye was definitely not on my list of things to do at that moment. But I managed to catch my husband's hand, kissed it and then he kissed my cheek. My emotion was in a complete turmoil but my sweetheart's kiss soothed me and my mind immediately switched gear to get my baby out safe. The nurse quickly wheeled me off to the operating theatre with husband dearest following behind me. At the operation theater door, I had to leave my husband behind and go in solo. Surprisingly, I had this feeling like I was going into battle and no one can stop me. Syukur, Allah gave me the strength to go through this alone. Although I felt like a soldier heading out to battle, in my mind, I was blaming myself for not being able to deliver little Riduan like nature intended me to. Blaming myself for putting him in danger. Subhanallah...I shouldn't have second guessed what Allah has planned out for me. This is when I experienced the miracle of Baby Riduan's birth.

As I entered the operating theatre, four nurses, two doctors and an anesthetist were ready and waiting with masks on to aid me in my caesarean birth. I was in so much pain but when the anesthetist injected into me the spinal block, all the pain went away. I was fully awake, numb from the waist down when the c-section was performed. The doctors and nurses were throwing jokes around probably trying to lift the suspense off the air and it worked! Surprisingly, it really didn't take that long. A curtain was put between the top part of me and my pregnant belly, quickly when I couldn't feel or lift my legs anymore, they slit an opening in my belly with something really hot guessing from the burnt smell of meat in the air, held my belly open and with a big push from the top of my tummy and some sucking noises, out came the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. Its my Baby Riduan ^_^

When I heard that first entirely broke down my wall of negativeness and despair and I cried happily. I can't exactly tell people how I felt then. It sort of feels a miracle which only happens in fairytales. I mean...I can't be that lucky can I? They had to rush the baby out because the operating theater was super cold and started to work back on me to stitch up my wounds. This is where the miracle doubled in intensity. An ovarian cysts was found in me. Check out the photo below (not for the faint hearted! The red is not blood, its the preservative they used to store the cyst):

ovarian cyst
Ovarian cyst

It was 8cm in length and was a complete surprise to everyone since not once in my 9 months of pregnancy did any check-up revealed its existence nor were there any other indications or a slowing down in physical activities that hinted that it was there. I'm guessing it has been there for a long long time and only the c-section revealed it. I had then to sign with trembling hands, yet another consent letter to cut out the cyst. The doctor said that if that's not taken out then I might lose one of my ovaries. Alhamdulillah, I felt so grateful that the c-section was performed....I am yet humbled by His greatness and went ahead with the procedure...

Sometime in the afternoon, Saturady 31st March 2012 - Babe in arms
So when all of the stitching and cleaning up was over, they wheeled me back into my ward. I can't feel anything from the waist down and was strapped to tubes and wires and beeping machines to keep check of my wellbeing. They still haven't brought in my baby yet because they were worried I would have no energy to hold him and nurse him. Well I'm worried sick that I haven't seen him yet. We had to really insist for the baby to be brought in and just let it nurse on me. And after much arguing with the medical staff (who were just looking out for me I'm sure), the baby finally was handed over into my arms. He was crying a fit and looked absolutely devastated that he couldn't see his Ummi and Walid. He finally quieted down when we held him and yep...that was true happiness.

First few minutes of Baby Riduan coming into the world

after labour post-pregnancy caesarean baby after caesarean birth
Yeay, Aki made it from the UK! (oh yeah, my dad is on sabatical leave to the UK and he made it back in time for his grandson's birth! Yippie!)

What I learnt
Through out the experience, I came to realise that everything that has happened was way out of my control. The labour pain and the nail biting uncertainties really thought me a powerful lesson. For every unexpected turns in the road of our over-planned life, there stand challenges which promises huge rewards if we only take the chance and have the gut to see it through. And the rewards may be so unexpected, that we could only stand in complete awe of His greatness. It brought me back down to earth. And I think one other thing that baby Riduan has helped me learn is to never ever give up reaching for your dreams even if it literally means going through much pain and seeing through many challenges. InsyaAllah, the rewards are going to be priceless...

To baby Riduan, Ummi and Walid love you sayang xoxoxo

my baby

Check out my luverly husband's great blog on wellness and weight loss by clicking here. It has a massive amount of great tips and advice!
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