My due date was on May 13, 2018, which would fall on a Sunday, right before the start of Ramadhan. This meant that my last trimester pretty much coincided with the busiest work period of the year for us. There was a photoshoot with Farah Lee where I basically blacked out on her sofa, and a fashion show where I was again in charge of backstage and dressing the models, not to mention the work leading up to the event with all the planning and coordination. Oh, and the elections too! Interesting times.
I decided that Thursday the 10th would be my last day at work before the maternity leave. I wanted to have Friday off for last minute packing and cleaning the house, since Shafiq would be off at a photoshoot that day. Or so I thought anyway.
I woke up for subuh and noticed I had a bit of discharge, so I changed and prayed subuh. But after solat, I felt weird, like there was more discharge coming out. But I just dismissed it as my body reacting to being tired. But after a while it just felt even more weird so I went to the bathroom to check, and noticed the tiniest bit of blood. Waitaminute. Did my water just break??
Woke Shafiq up and told him..and for a while we were just blur. Shafiq called backup to cover his shoot, and we called Abah and asked if he could take care of Eesa for the day (Thankfully I think it was nearing the sem break) and then packed our stuff and drove to the hospital. We got there at around 8.30, and I was ushered into the examination area. They ruptured my membrane to make sure that there was no meconium aspiration. They also checked my dilation, which was just around 2cm.
The wards were all full so we had to just wait in the lobby. Asked the nurse if I was allowed to go out to eat or anything but she said since we already checked I couldn’t leave, as they would be monitoring me every couple of hours. Hmm. Thankfully I brought a book along, and had my phone. Shafiq went out to get some food for breakfast and lunch, even though the hospital provided plenty of meals and snacks throughout the day for patients. I remember it was Friday because shafiq went for Friday prayers.
At around 4.30, the nurse informed us that there was a bed available for me in the ward, so we moved there. I was still only a few cm dilated so it was mostly just waiting around. But in the late afternoon I started getting contractions – and this was the first time I was actually aware of the feeling. They were mild at first, and after the nurse came by and checked she said I was just at 5-6 cm. She also told me that if they got stronger she could give me painkillers.
Since it was a general ward, Shafiq could only stay until 7pm, so at around 7ish he left the ward. But by the time 7pm rolled around, the contractions were getting much much much stronger. I was alone and in a heck of a lot of pain. I remember making some monstrous sounds trying to call the nurses over without being able to get up as the contractions were now just minutes apart. My ward neighbours were kind enough to ask me if I was ok and i think I must’ve said no because they thankfully called the nurses over. The nurse checked me and I told them that I definitely wanted those painkillers but they said I was already 8cm dilated so it was too late, and promptly wheeled my bed out of the ward to the labour room. Tak sempat capai tudung pun. Managed to hold on to my phone and message Shafiq though, who Alhamdulillah was just at the hospital surau and he joined me in the labour room. The nurses kept telling me to ‘tahan, jangan teran dulu ye puan!’ all the way to the LR.
Got changed into labour room clothes (don’t know why I had to do this when I was already in hospital clothes anyway) and lay down while the nurses busied themselves with attaching me to the monitors. A few minutes later they finished and were basically just standing around talking, while I was deliriously in pain and feeling like I needed to push. So I asked them ‘dah boleh teran ke??’ to which they said, ‘eh, teran la puan! nak tunggu apa lagi?’ Haih.
I don’t remember how many times I pushed but I do remember yelling ‘Awak buat ape tu? Sakit tau tak!’ at one of the nurses who was pushing down on my tummy while it also felt like she was prying me open. Not my coolest moment but she really was causing me a lot of discomfort. I had mentioned to Shafiq to tell them ‘tak nak potong’ meaning I didn’t want an episiotomy but I guess he forgot to pass on the message because I did get snipped. It was kind of all a hurried shamble because I forgot all my breathing exercises and birth plan too. Alhamdulillah it didn’t last long though, the whole thing was over in about 10 minutes, and I got to hug my beautiful little girl for the first time.
Hudaa Shafiq, born 11 May 2018, 2 days ahead of schedule, at 7.45pm