For every new mother, going into labour can be a traumatizing experience. As a doctor, I am experienced in conducting deliveries of other women. However, that experience could never be compared with my own first encounter of labour.
On the day the labour started for my first pregnancy, we went to a university hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Despite the regular contraction pains, my cervical os was found opened only at 2 cm. At that moment, I kept telling myself that I shall not take any painkiller for this pain.
As my labour progress, I was told to stay in the labour room. I was forced to be in the bed with the CTG straps on my tummy. The labour room was flooded with loud thudding sounds of my baby’s heart beat. My husband started to recite Surah Luqman and Surah Maryam as we went through the labour. An hour later, I was given intravenous Syntocinon to speed up the labour. My movement were restricted and I became uncomfortable. Hours went by and the low back pain became worse. The contraction pain was increasing. At one time, the pain was unbearable that I finally requested for an epidural. Unfortunately, the epidural was not properly functioning. The pain was still there, only this time it was on one side of lower half of my body. I couldn’t sleep the whole night but i refused any form of painkiller injections except for Entonox. The attending medical officer wanted to give me Pethidine injection. Finally, feeling too exhausted, I succumbed to one injection at about 5 am. The officer was at fault for not checking on my cervical os before giving the Pethidine. At 6.30am, the specialist came only to find out that I was fully at 10cm and that I was ready to push the baby out. Unfortunately, I was too drowsy and I didn’t have the strength to push. My son was finally delivered vaginally assisted by vacuum due to my poor efforts. He didn’t cry at the first minute and was brought to the neonatal resuscitation room to be given Naloxone. Moments later, I could hear his cry and I was glad. I was too sleepy and I slept at the labour room while my perineum was being sutured by the obstetrician.
Up in the maternity ward, I realized that my baby did not received my breastmilk during the first hour of delivery. I was really sad for this is the most important meal for the newborn. I stayed in the hospital for a week because my first son had neonatal jaundice secondary to caephalohaematoma. He received double UV phototherapy. I cried at times looking at him so tiny, wearing only diapers and pads over his two eyes. I knew at that time I need to be strong for him.
My husband kept telling me that this was Allah’s test on us and for that we must stay strong. I was thankful that I survived the labour. I realized that this bad labour experience was a step for me to improve myself in future. I was not properly prepared for the labour, physically, mentally, nor spiritually. From that moment, I vowed to improve myself with the next pregnancy and be better at facing the next labour. And, I did. Thank you Ya Allah.