A place to share knowledge and experience for women

The bad labour

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.

 

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My first experience in pregnancy and labour has taught me enough for me to take charge of my second pregnancy. At that time, I was a full time student and a trainee medical lecturer, doing Master in Medical Science. I was about to enter the Second Semester, learning Head and Neck, Pelvis, Abdomen and Neuroanatomy.

During the first trimester, I began to feel the similar symptoms of ‘morning sickness’. I could not concentrate much in class due to the overwhelm nauseous  feeling. My good friend introduced me Salindah, a homeopathy remedy for pregnant women. She gave me a few bottles to try out, which she did not finished during her last pregnancy. I read on about the origin of Salindah and its benefit. I then decided to buy the whole set for my pregnancy and postnatal care.

After taking Salindah for a month, I realised my ‘morning sickness’ symptoms was much reduced. I did not experience any back pain like I used to have during the first pregnancy. I keep on reading on homeopathy and I started to believe in it. I started on Examo, another kind of homeopathy from the same manufacturer, which I use to take during secondary school. It is believe to help improve your memory. My pregnancy went on smoothly throughout the trimesters except for Braxton Hicks, which I started experiencing since 33 weeks of gestation. At that moment, I realized that this pregnancy seemed  similar to my first one. Nevertheless, I managed to finish the Master’s coursework and obtained good grades. With the examination over, I was feeling a bit relief and begun to concentrate on my pregnancy.

I began to read on labour pain and natural birth methods. I found out that it is a practice in the western countries to have birth plan, a plan which a mother and the attending obstetrician can adhere to during labour process.  This is not the practice in Malaysia. However, I was fortunate to have a good obstetrician with me for my second pregnancy. I downloaded an example of a birth plan and discuss it over with my husband and obstetrician. As a doctor myself, I knew the consequences and benefit of each plan. The obstetrician agreed to my birth plan even though I would be delivering my baby in a public hospital. From then on, I started visualizing the actual labour and the scenario in the labour room. I began mental preparation.

Some of the things that I request in my birth plan:

  1. I would like to attempt a normal delivery as possible
  2. I do not want any artificial augmentation i.e Intravenous Pitocin
  3. I do not want to strap myself to the bed with the CTG monitoring continously
  4. I would like intermittent CTG monitoring
  5. I want to be able walk and do whatever I feel comfortable with during my contraction pain
  6. I want my husband to cut the umbilical cord of my baby
  7. I want my baby on my chest immediately after delivery
  8. I want to breastfeed my baby immediately after the delivery
  9. I do not want any form of painkillers injections or epidural to relieve my labour pain

On the day I was supposed to present my research proposal for my Master, I succumbed to symptoms of labour. This time we were better prepared to face any challenge during the labour. We were hoping that the outcome would be better for us and the future baby. We prayed to Allah as we had done our best to get ourselves ready. Finally, I must say it was all worth while. Now, our second son, Muhammad Ayyub is a bubbly, cheerful boy about to turn 2 years old in July. Again, we thank you, Ya Allah for this blessing.

Being pregnant for the newly weds is the most wonderful thing to happen. Alhamdulillah, I found out I was first pregnant in January 2007. My husband and I were very excited.  I was working in the Emergency Department at that moment. So did my husband, only in a different hospital. I couldn’t wait to see the gynaecologist. So, I asked my colleague to perform an ultrasound scan to see the growing fetus, but it was all too early. The only thing that I could see was a yolk sac.

As time goes by, the stress of working as a medical officer started to kick in. During the first trimester, I started to experience low back pain. It was not just any kind of pain but a lingering, shearing pain along the lumbar spine. I was not able to sit down for long hours at the consultation rooms in the Green Zone. I begin to experience ‘morning sickness’ – nausea, bits of vomiting and lethargy. A week later, I was diagnosed to have threatened miscarriage as I had episodes of vaginal bleed. Repeat scan at that time showed a viable fetus. My husband decided that it was time for me to take a rest. Finally, I resigned as a medical officer in the Ministry of Health and start to do locums at my own leisure.

During that few months, I did a lot of reading on pregnancy and the changes associated with it. I equipped myself with Islamic knowledge and almost everyday I recited the Holy Quran. The fetus in your uterus actually listens to every word you read. This is the same practice by the Westerns, whereby the parents sing lullaby or put headphones to the mother’s belly while connecting to a CD player playing Mozart. I believe that once the baby is exposed to Quran as early as in the mother’s womb, Insya Allah the baby will grow into a great Muslim. I was very much focused on myself and the growing baby back then. I did not miss any of the antenatal check-up and I was satisfied with the baby’s development. However, I did not really put much emphasize on the upcoming events as I thought that everything will go on smoothly.

Time passed by and my pregnancy has reached the third trimester. My symptoms of back pain subsided and so did the ‘morning sickness’. However, I began to feel Braxton Hicks, a non painful hardening of the uterus which can be felt on the tummy. This is not a sign of labour unless it is accompanied by regular contraction pain and blood discharge from the vagina. It can occur to any pregnant lady from as early as 30 weeks gestation. Braxton Hicks is a normal phenomenon as it permits the uterus to practice contraction and relaxation before the real labour actually starts. I experienced this until I reached 38 weeks when I finally felt the contractions at regular intervals and slight low back pain.

I called my husband to come back from work early that morning. We brought with us a Quran Tafseer book and a weekend bag ready to stay overnight. We went straight to the designated hospital to get ready for the labour, thinking that we were ready for the delivery of our first son. Our parents were informed and everyone was excited. Allah knew best what I was supposed to go through. The pregnancy ended with a dramatic labour experience, which left a great impact on me as I begun my new role as a mother. Thank you to my husband for being there for me all the way during this first pregnancy. Our first son, Abdullah Yusuf is turning 4 years old this September. We love him very much. Thank you Ya Allah.

Muna Asy Syifa is a Malay company, which manufactures natural herbs products for the health of men and women. It has been in the market for more than 40 years.  More than 100 kinds of herbal plants have been used as the ingredients in making traditional medicine. Initially. the products were made exclusively for postnatal care. Today, Muna Asy Syifa has expand the products for the use of both men and women. Interestingly, the products use Halagel capsules.

I have first used Muna Asy Syifa since early this year. I started using Sihat Wanita and Kacip Fatimah Manjakani for a few reasons. I have been feeling lethargy for the past one year. I have also been experiencing urinary incontinence and this has been affecting my prayers. My menses have stopped since I took the 3 monthly contraception injections (DepoProvera). I decided to search for Halal herbs and i came across Muna Asy Syifa blogspot. The price is affordable and much cheaper than the other brands in the market. As I knew that it is manufactured by Muslim and uses Halagel capsule, I decided to give it a try. Alhamdulillah, my symptoms diminished and I decided to continue taking it. I have recommended the products to my friends and family. Currently, I am one of the dealers. My objective is to help the Muslim men and women rectify their health problems by using Halal natural products. Do visit their website and tell me if you want to give it a try.