Monday, June 27, 2011

Giving birth - my experience

( bodo punye blogspot. aku type banyak2 hilang pulak. isy )

Alhamdulillah, I have safely delivered a healthy baby boy last Tuesday, 21 June 2011 at 9:27 am, Canberra time. He was 3.76 kg, 53 cm. I delivered him normally, without any painkiller. We named him Muhammad Daiyan Zakwan.

Anyway, I am pretty sure lots of people wonder how it feels like to give birth. Usually if we ask mothers about it, we are most likely to get "it really hurts", "it's indescribable", "i felt like dying", etc. as the answers. No one really gives the answer that we want to hear. So, here, I want to attempt the impossible: to actually describe how it really feels to give birth.

Let me tell you my whole experience first.

As usual, I woke up at around 3:30 am to go for a wee. However, unlike usual, I felt like my panty was wet. Afraid that my water had broken, I woke up to check the bed. The bed and my pants were okay, so it's only my panty. I went to the toilet to find that I had passed the mucus plug, but since it wet my panty, I was wondering if the water had broken, but instead of a gush of water, it might be dripping. So, I did my thing, put on a pad, and called the birthing suite, just in case. My call was answered by a midwife, and she told me that it was normal to be that wet when the mucus plug passes through, but just to make sure, she asked me to call her half an hour later. It was 4 am.

Shortly after hanging up, I felt my first contraction. It felt like a mild period pain. I was not sure it was a contraction at first, because I didn't know how it feels like, but since it came every 7 minutes, I was pretty sure it was contractions. So when I called the midwife back to tell that I did not wet the pad, I asked her if what I felt were contractions. She said it sounded like it was, so she asked me to drink lots of water and try to go back to sleep. I asked her when I should go to the hospital, and she told me that for first pregnancy, it usually takes 12 more hours after the contraction starts to be 2 minutes apart, so she told me to relax. I was like, "okay," although really, I didn't believe her. Anyway, I took her advice, drank some water, relaxed on the chair for a bit, and tried to go to sleep. By that time, the contraction was 4 minutes apart, and was getting stronger.

However, I felt sick shortly after I got on the bed. I rushed to the toilet, and I threw up like a water hose. Seriously, it was gushing out of my mouth. On the second gush, my water broke like a popping balloon. Seriously, I thought I heard a popping sound. Haha. So I asked Ajoy to call the birthing suite. The midwife told me to take a shower and eat some breakfast before coming to the hospital. Taking her advice, I took a shower while Ajoy prepared breakfast of rice and fried egg. However, I really couldn't take the breakfast because I felt really sick. I called the birthing suite again, and the midwife told me to come straight to the hospital. At that time the contraction was around 2 minutes apart and was really strong that it made me mengerang.

Arriving at the hospital at around 6am+ , the midwife put me into a birthing room. She told me to change my pad and showed her the one that I was wearing because she wanted to see the color of the water. I knew it was clear when it first broke, but it was a bit brownish at the hospital, which indicated that the baby had pooed in the uterus. I showed her the drenched pad, and didn't even bother changing into a new one because the contraction and all the other pains (back pain, pelvic pain, pain in the thighs, etc.) was too much that I didn't even give a damn anymore. Plus, I had already drenched my pants, kain batik and car seat that most probably there's no water left anymore. So I just went out of the toilet, and lied straight on the bed. I was so tired that all I wanted to do was to lie down and sleep (but of course I couldn't haha).

While I was lying dreadfully on the bed, trying to cope with the contractions, I heard the midwife told another midwife that I was on the bed in lots of pain and that my contraction was 2 minutes apart. Not long after, a new midwife entered the room (I assumed they just changed shifts). She asked me how I was doing yadayadayada. Then I asked her how far I had dilated, and she said, "Do you want me to check it for you?" I answered yes, although in my mind I was like, "isn't it the normal procedure?" They probably don't do it here. Anyway, she checked, and she told me that I was fully dilated, and I was going to have the baby soon. At this time, the contraction got so intense that at times I just had to scream because I felt the urge to push (but I tried not to because I wasn't sure if I should haha). She asked me if I felt like pooing and if sometimes I felt the urge to push, and I answered yes. She then made me got off the bed and took a shower (the warm water really helped relieving the back pain) and changed into the hospital gown. Then she asked me to kneel on the bed. And the battle began.. (chewah)

The midwife told me to push whenever I felt the urge to push, and that's what I did. Personally, I think pushing was the only way to relief the contraction pain. So I pushed when the urge came, tried to take a deep breath during contraction, and tried to rest in between contractions (I even fell asleep a couple of times haha) . Ajoy was next to me the whole time and he kept on reminding me to breath properly. He also fed me with some ice whenever I wanted (this is a great way to stay hydrated since it's hard to drink). After a few pushes however, I stopped having the urge to push; I only got the contraction. Since it had been a while since I last pushed (approximately half an hour), the midwife told me to push hard on every contraction that I got. So I took a deep breath, pushed like I have never pushed before on every contraction that I had after that. It felt like pushing a huge poo, no kidding. Even the midwife said "push the poo out clean~" to encourage me. Haha.

Anyway, after several strong pushes, I felt the baby's head at the opening. I started to feel stinging sensation as the baby stretched my perineum. After a couple more pushes, I could feel something came out, and I screamed as I could feel somewhere in my vaginal area was tearing. However, although it hurt like hell, I felt so much better since there was no more feeling like a huge poo stuck in the bottom, and plus, the stinging sensation wasn't there anymore. A second after that, I heard the baby's voice, and I thought, "finally!". I asked Ajoy if the baby's out yet, but to my disappointment, Ajoy said only the head was out, so I still needed to push. Finally, after 3-4 more pushes, at 9:27 am, the baby was out, and I was so relieved. Ajoy cut the umbilical cord. The midwife then asked me to lie on my back, and they put the baby skin to skin on my chest. However, since Ajoy needed to azan and iqamah to the baby's ears, I passed the baby to Ajoy first, while I was pushing the placenta out. Then Ajoy gave me the baby back, and let the baby to breastfeed for the first time (which he didn't do right away because he seemed too tired. He got on the breast after a few minutes though). 

After the breastfeeding, a doctor came to stitch me up. She said I had two tears--a libial tear and a second degree perineum tear. She said she'd use local anesthetic (the same as the one used by dentists) for the stitching, but I could use the gas when she put the local anesthetic. I thought, why not, since I was done with the labor anyway. So I breathed in the gas (the laughing gas to be exact), in hope I would feel less pain when she injected the anesthetic. But boy, OMG. It hurts more than the labor itself, even with the gas. After a few minutes, she stitched me up (which still hurts, even with the anesthetic and the gas). When I asked her how many stitches did I get, she told me that I had one huge stitch. I wonder how she did it when I had two tears...anyway, she then shoved three painkillers up my bottom, and I was done.

Things after that got a bit blurry to me, since I was so tired and sleepy. I was given something to eat, and I fell asleep right after. I was then woken up by the midwife and she sent me to the ward.

So, to answer the above question:
Labor pain feels like extreme period pain (the whole set: tummy cramp, back pain, pelvic pain, fatigue, etc.), coupled with extreme constipation. Personally, I think the labor itself does not hurt that bad; it's not really about the pain, it's more to the annoying and uncomfortable feeling of being in pain and tired, when all you want to do is to rest. Maybe the most painful moment during labor is when the baby is pushing out of the vaginal opening; when all the tears happen (or not, if the baby is small or you are just lucky). However, since by that time you're not gonna give a damn anymore, all you want to do is just to push the baby out and be done with it. It hurts, it stings, because one of your body part is tearing up, but right after the baby is out, you cannot feel the pain anymore. Maybe because you've feel the worst, so anything below that (the fact that your vagina has torn) become unnoticeable. In fact, personally, I feel the stitching part is the most painful of all. And the agony that you will have to endure for weeks while waiting for the stitches to heal. So I guess, the real reason why mothers are placed higher than fathers is not just because of the labor pain; it's more because of the whole pregnancy, labor and post-labor pain that mothers have to endure just to bring one little life to the world.

And yeah, there is a thing called post-natal pain; it's the pain similar to period pain that you can feel (especially while feeding the baby) when the uterus is shrinking. The midwives at the hospital wished me luck, because they said if I could feel it now, it would only get worst with subsequent births. Oh, I guess I am not lucky. Well, I can't really complaint. I had fairly an easy and fast labor, it's only fair for me to feel the post-natal pain. I guess when you gain some, you lose some.

Anyway, that's it. I hope that answered the all-time favorite question "how does it feel to give birth". But of course, that's based on my experience. Different people might have different experience and might have different description :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Sekarang semua orang dok bising harga barang2 naik. Harga minyak naik, gula naik, etc etc. Pastu sebab harga benda-benda ni naik seposen dua, terus harga barang-barang berasaskan bahan-bahan ni naik seposen dua juga walaupun peratusan naik harga barang-barang berasaskan bahan-bahan ni lagi tinggi dari peratusan naik harga bahan-bahan mentah tu. Alasan pekedai, "Harga naik la kak." Lalu disebabkan kenaikan seposen dua bahan mentah tu telah menyebabkan kenaikan lagi tinggi barang-barang berasaskan bahan mentah tu, semua orang pon dok bising suruh naikkan gaji.

Tapi terfikirkah kita, bila gaji naik tiba-tiba, harga barang-barang akan naik juga? Ye lah, kalau kita lihat sekarang pon, dengan kenaikan seposen dua bahan mentah, harga barang-barang boleh naik mendadak. Apatah lagi bila pekedai perlu menyelaraskan harga dengan kenaikan gaji pekerja. Jangan lupa, takkan gaji pekerja nak naik seposen dua je. Mesti la diorang demand seratus dua. Paling koman pon 50 ringgit. Tak mustahil bila gaji pekerja naik, harga barang-barang akan naik mendadak juga. Alasan yang akan diberikan pekedai, "Kena bayar gaji pekerja tinggi la kak". Tak gitu?

Hmm.. ada tak caranya gaji pekerja naik, tapi harga barang takkan naik? Ada rasanya. Paling senang adalah dengan pembuangan pekerja. Contohnya, kalau sekarang gaji pekerja RM500, dan gaji ni akan naik 100%, jadi RM1000, pekedai yang ada 4 pekerja akan terpaksa menampung perbelanjaan tambahan RM2000 sebulan. Kiranya untuk mengekalkan jumlah keuntungan yang sama seperti sebelum kenaikan gaji pekerja, pekedai ni perlu memastikan jumlah duit yang masuk dalam sebulan adalah RM2000 lebih daripada biasa. So, ada tiga cara pekedai ni boleh memastikan perkara ini berlaku. Satu, dengan menaikkan harga barang. Atau dua, dengan memastikan jualan meningkat dengan jayanya. Atau tiga, dengan membuang 2 orang pekerja, so that dia tidak perlu risau untuk menampung kenaikan gaji. Antara tiga cara ni, mungkin yang paling mudah adalah dengan membuang pekerja, atau menaikkan harga barang, atau dengan kombinasi kedua-duanya. Tapi apa-apa hal pon, mana-mana cara yang dipilih pon, orang akan bising. Ye lah, kenaikan harga barang akan menyebabkan pelanggan bising. Pembuangan pekerja akan menyebabkan pekerja yang dibuang bising (sbb takde kerja), dan pekerja yang tak dibuang bising (sbb terpaksa cover kerja pekerja-pekerja yang dibuang). Kalau tak naikkan harga barang dan buang pekerja pon, pekerja akan bising sebab akan terpaksa meningkatkan produktiviti untuk memastikan jualan meningkat (so akan selalu kene maki dengan bos, dan kita pon akan maki bos dengan bestnya, lalu dua-dua pon akan tambah dosa). So kesimpulannya, dari kaca mata pekerja seperti kita, memang kita nak gaji naik, tapi, jangan kita lupa, dengan peningkatan gaji, akan adanya peningkatan harga barang kalau kita malas untuk meningkatkan produktiviti. Dari kaca mata pekedai pula, sudah tentulah mereka tak mahu bayar gaji kita lebih, lebih-lebih lagi sekiranya duit yang masuk setiap bulan tidak meningkat (yelah, mana nak dapat duit bayar gaji weh). So, sebagai pekerja, kita perlulah meningkatkan produktiviti supaya para pekedai/boss boleh menaikkan gaji kita tanpa peningkatan harga barang yang melampau. Apa boleh buat kalau produktiviti dah meningkat tapi gaji tak naik-naik? Kita bakar bos! Muahahaha!!

Owh, terlupa pula, mungkin ada lagi satu cara untuk mengekalkan harga barang dengan peningkatan gaji. Kalau di negara-negara berpendapatan tinggi, seperti di Australia ni, kedai tutup punyalah awal. Ye lah, shopping mall buka pukul 9-10 pagi, dan tutup pukul 5:30 paling lewat biasanya. Kalau hari minggu, lagi awal, pukul 4 petang dah tutup. Jumaat malam je yang bukak sampai pukul 9 malam. Ye lah, kalau bukak lama-lama, nak kene bayar gaji pekerja lagi, lagi-lagi pulak hari minggu, gaji lagi tinggi. Mati kutu lah pekedai. So, mungkin dengan memendekkan masa pekerja bekerja akan boleh mengekalkan harga barang dengan kenaikan gaji, tapi tak tahu la ye. Sebab dengan memendekkan masa bekerja, akan mengurangkan masa jualan, jadinya, merendahkan jualan. Hmm last-last kena naikkan harga barang juga.

So kesimpulannya, dengan kenaikkan gaji tanpa peningkatan produktiviti, harga barang-barang akan naik juga. Hence, inflasi. (chewah, mari mengaplikasikan pembelajaran ekonomi selama setahun dua. haha).

Jadinya macam mana ni? Apa-apahal pon, harga barang akan naik juga, walaupun gaji naik. Sama juga la keadaannya macam sekarang. So, apa yang kita boleh buat?

Mungkin benda yang paling mudah kita boleh buat adalah dengan menukar gaya hidup. Back to basic. Seperti gaya hidup kita/mak ayah kita masa dulu-dulu. Pergi sekolah/kerja, bawa bekal. Nak masak, petik cili belakang rumah. Sebenarnya sedar tak sedar, kita hidup secara agak mewah, walaupun kita taknak mengaku. Kenapa cakap macam tu?
(i) Boleh kata semua orang ada kereta. Tapi ni tak boleh nak tukar sangat buat masa sekarang sebab pengangkutan awam masih belum reliable sepenuhnya. So, kita tak boleh tukar itu. Tapi kepada sesiapa yang boleh naik pengangkutan awam, naiklah. Disamping boleh mengurangkan kos, kita boleh mengurangkan pencemaran dan jem juga. Bila jalan kurang jem = pengangkutan awam seperti bas dan teksi akan jadi lebih reliable. (ye lah, macam mana nak reliable sekarang? jalan kat kl jem nak mati!!)
(ii) Boleh kata kita sangat-sangat jarang makan masakan sendiri. Ye lah, berapa ramai yang bila sampai ofis, dah siap breakfast, atau paling kurang pon, ade bawa bekalan breakfast sendiri. Belum masuk lunch lagi. Dinner pon kebanyakannya beli lauk diluar, makan di rumah. Yelah, pantas kan. Tapi cuba kita kira perbelanjaan makan di luar kita dalam sehari. Dalam seminggu? Sebulan? Lepas tu darab dengan bilangan ahli keluarga. Uish, melambung you~
(iii) Kita tak mahu bercucuk tanam lagi. Ye lah, semua bahan-bahan kita beli di luar. Attitude yang selalu kita dengar/lihat, "Buat apa tanam, beli je senang." Ehem, cuba kita tanam sendiri, kan senang, tak payah keluar duit selalu untuk beli benda-benda yang kita boleh tanam tu. Silap-silap haribulan, kita sendiri boleh berniaga. Kalau duduk rumah flat ke, kita boleh tanam benda-benda simple dalam pasu, cili ke..bawang woo makan hasil tangan sendiri. (Terbayang-bayang rambutan yang banyak nak mati depan rumah bila tiba musim rambutan. yumyum). Takpon, boleh pakat dengan penduduk flat, buat satu dua kawasan tanaman sayur kat bawah flat. Gilir-gilir bertanam, atau pun siapa-siapa nak bercucuk tanam boleh sewa tanah untuk bertanam. Bila dah ada hasil extra, boleh jual. Kalau kongsi-kongsi tanam lagi bagus. Boleh jual kepada penduduk flat dengan harga rendah. Community work la kire..
(iv) Boleh kata kebanyakan dari kita memiliki handphone/gajet/baju/kereta yang wow walaupun poket menangis wuwuwuwu~.Hmm..pandai-pandailah berfikir ya..mana satu kemahuan, mana satu keperluan. Kita tak layak merungut gaji tak cukup kalau kita sendiri yang tak pandai berbelanja.

So, untuk mengatasi kos sara hidup yang semakin meningkat ni, mungkin kita perlu mengubah gaya hidup. Naik pengangkutan awam (kalau boleh), bawa bekal, rajin bercucuk tanam, beli barang keperluan je.. Apa? takde class hidup macam tu? Banyak la takde class. Kita perlu mengubah gaya hidup, untuk terus hidup. Orang-orang di US dan Australia pon hidup macam tu. Pekerja-pekerja Australia satu pejabat ni pon pergi minum pagi di kafeteria seminggu sekali, waktu-waktu makan lain diorang pergi ke pantry je, makan bekal sendiri, dan buat air sendiri. Ada yang datang kerja naik basikal. Masa di US lagi lah, professor pergi mengajar naik basikal, merempit lagi laju dari student! (teringat pengalaman dipotong professor berjanggut putih dgn basikal. haha). Ni orang-orang terpelajar dari negara-negara maju berpendapatan tinggi ni. Kita? Orang-orang biasa dari negara membangun berpendapatan biasa-biasa je. Lagi mau komplen takde class?

Okay, penat dah membebel. Memang sesuai la tajuk post ni potpetpotpet. Sekian..