Amal attended our prenatal yoga classes and delivered her son in August 2015. This is her birth story!
On 3rd August last year, I remember going to RIPAS for my weekly checkup and having lunch at Fratini’s with my husband right after. I was only a few days into my maternity leave and it was about another 10 days to go til our due date. Plenty of time I thought. Let’s book a haircut tomorrow! I distinctly remember my husband saying to me “maybe you shouldn’t book anything, you know you’re due anytime now right”. I then started to get an ache in my tummy late that afternoon, I thought hmm the pizza was a bit off? Haha. Maybe Braxton Hicks? Then a few hours later at about 10 pm I finally said to my husband, I think I’m in first stage labour! I then found myself on the phone with my parents asking them whether they could come home tomorrow. So we timed contractions while I sat on the exercise ball and called my best friend who was all the way in England. “So I think I’m in labour. Have you packed? Yes. My parents aren’t here. It’s ok. It’s just us two. You’ll be alright. Get some rest, eat, shower, don’t panic. Banyak baca baca. Don’t forget your selusoh. Ok. I’ll message you in the later.”
I ended up drifting in and out of sleep on the couch whilst whatsapping the girls and keeping track of contractions on the app. “Contractions are 10 minutes apart, 1 minute in duration, for over 1 hour.” Managed to subuh, shower, have breakfast and by 6.00 am we were off to go to the hospital. My mum was trying to get the first flight back to Brunei but she wasn’t sure if she could make it back for the afternoon. We called my in laws and aunts to let them know we were off to the hospital. Checked in at the hospital and my contractions were getting more frequent and stronger but still manageable. I was 3-4 cms dilated at about 7.00 am. All I remember was hearing other women in labour in the delivery rooms and being hungry and thinking hmmm I wonder if they do Fratini’s delivery. Haha!
They let me walk around in the first stage labour room for a good few hours. I texted my hair dresser to tell him I was in labour and couldn’t go for my appointment! Lol! I could still walk, talk, eat and drink as normal. I kept reading surah after surah whilst the contractions came and went. I had heard husbands weren’t allowed to accompany their wives in the labour room but my husband appeared (with food!!) and said my family was outside waiting. CNN was on and I remember watching something about Obama and American politics on the news. Coincidentally it was also Obama’s birthday on 4th August. Earlier in the morning the midwife gave me a leaflet about epidurals and pain management and said if it got too bad, just call and they’ll try to help. At 11.30 am I called the nurse and said “OK maybe time for some gas please! We’re so sorry we’re out of entonox. Maybe some oxygen? Nope, no difference. What about the epidural? You’re 8-9 cms dilated. We can’t offer it anymore. You’ll just have to it do the natural way. You’re ready to go to the delivery room.”
It was about 12 noon and everything was already a bit blurry. I remember my husband taking my phone and glasses aside and telling me he wasn’t sure if my mum made it on the plane for this afternoon. My husband stayed with me the whole way and held my hand. It was contraction after contraction and I tried my best to push. But to no avail. I wanted to sit up and walk around but by then they’d put a drip on me and I was exhausted. I remember tears streaming down my face and my husband wiping them with tissues. He tried to keep me steady and read surahs trying to keep me calm and strong. I honestly don’t know how I could’ve managed without him. The nurses suggested maybe I should rest and sleep. At some point they changed shifts and a new midwife came in the room. This was about 2.30 pm. They said I had been in and out of sleep and that maybe we could try again. The new midwife was incredibly supportive. I remembered how to breathe again. She said to conserve energy. Focus. Almost there she said. This was around 3 pm. She could see baby’s head. We tried one more time and the midwife, my husband and I powered through. I am not kidding when I say it was literally the “life flashing before your eyes moment” but it was. Big bright lights and everything. No wonder people say giving birth is like between life and death. Then it was a sudden relief. I remember still holding onto my husband and then hearing baby cry. Alhamdulillah. I held him for the first time and said Assalamualaikum sayang. My husband then held him, Azan and Iqamah and cut the umbilical cord. Allah is the best of planners. At 38 weeks, 5 days our beloved son was born.