Khadeeja was born on 15 December 2012, 7.50am. She measured 49cm and weighed 3.2kg. Thankfully, I ended up not having to push her out of my vajayjay as I planned throughout my 38 weeks of pregnancy.

Let's just say, almost everything about my pregnancy this time was different from my previous one. I was crazy sick during my first trimester, had to be hospitalised 3 times during pregnancy and the shape of my tummy has been an on-going debate among friends and colleagues as to the gender of my baby. It's round, but also protruding and from the back, I don't look pregnant at all. So it must be a boy, right? But it's round! Nope, it's a girl.

Even my obgyn could not be sure of the baby's sex but told us it is likely to be a girl (hurray!).

Again, unlike Khayla whose birth was via planned C-sec due to placenta praaevia, Khadeeja's birth story has a twisted ending. Throughout my pregnancy, I was confident that I could this time, give birth via normal delivery. My obgyn gave me a pretty prognosis - the amniotic fluid is not too much or too little, and the placenta is positioned where it is supposed to be.

I even made a birth plan that doesn't include epidural and surgical knife, even went to the extent of dreaming a stitch-free perineum! Angan2 tak ingat dunia, jah! In my perfect birth vision, I wanted the baby to be placed on my chest immediately after she was delivered (skin to skin contact), and somehow baby will be able to do the 'breast crawl' (again, angan2 terlampau ambitious!)

So it came as a shock and major disappointment when I was told that due to my GDM, my labour has to be induced at Week 38 instead of having to wait for natural birth to kick in. And even more shocking is when I was told to be admitted on the week I was planning to go for long walks and daily swims in my attempt to induce my labour naturally! Some more, I wanted to have a leisure week to get into birthing mode, going for last minute shopping, pedicure, a visit to the dentist and even prenatal spa session - but didn't get it *cry*

Secretly, I was most disappointed because I was hoping to deliver my second child on our 6th wedding anniversary, which was just 4 days away from the planned induced labour. My obgyn was adamant that she could not risk waiting any longer which broke my heart.

So on the night of 10th December, I was admitted to the hospital to be induced. The hospital was almost fully booked because many expectant mothers were planning to give birth on 12 Dec 2012 (12/12/12). In the end, we had to put up with a freezing room that has no carpet(aircond was centralized). My mom and Khayla had to go back home and make daily trips to the hospital instead because they could not stand the cold room.

The next day on 11th December, early morning, a nurse came to check on my opening (ouch!) and then administer the medication to induce birth. After two hours, I felt stomach cramp and excitedly went to the toilet... to deliver a huge dump. Hmmph. That's what you get when you heard too much induced birth stories from your friends...

The contraction started after a hours later, with slight discomfort around my waist and down there. That was however not the worst I had to endure. The worst had got to be the frequent VE (vaginal examination) throughout the day.

Nurses came, stuck their finger in my vajayjay and cheerfully told me, 'Oh, it's only 1cm.' After countless times of having my vajayjay poked, I was not amused with their cheerful announcement.

So that was the highlight of 11 December - endless VEs. I went to bed feeling very deflated at my slow birth.

12 December arrived with much more excitement from our family members. Everybody was hoping that the baby will arrive on this beautiful date. I had mixed feeling, because I still wished the baby will make her debut on our 6th wedding anniversary. At that point, I did not put up too much hope because my ob-gyn was in a rush to get the baby out I figured that she wouldn't agree with me.

Since nothing happened the day before, once again I had to be induced for the second time. After a while, I began to have real contractions. It started like having a drill shoved up my vajayjay, constantly drilling trying to open a passage for the baby. Then a sharp knife joined the drill, while at the same time a monster is ripping up my internal organs.

Induced birth pain is horrendous! I tried pacing, lying down, kneeling, squatting, anything to relieve the pain but nothing works. A monster has taken over my body and wreaking havocs inside.

Then there was the constant VEs AGAIN, and guess what, the opening has progressed by 1cm. 1 FREAKIN' CM! I cried when the nurse cheerfully told me that.

By evening, I started to lose my sanity and snapped at everyone who tried to soothe me. My toddler was not spared my crazy mood and my mom decided to bring her back home. Which was a good decision.

My husband had a class in the evening and he told me he was going to class. I almost murdered him on the spot! How could he even think of leaving me alone with the pain! He left anyway because I was not making any sense at this point. The good thing was he came back early after informing his lecturer that his wife was in labour (which he could have told over email?)

13 December 2012. I was not getting much sleep from the contraction and my vajayjay pain. When myy obgyn came to check on me. She suggested for us to go for C-sec and I cried! I had endured pain up to this point only to be told I need to consider C-sec? We had a bit of a fight with the doctor and she left me feeling frustrated and angry.

This turned out not to be a beautiful birth story as I anticipated. I was feeling distressed, bewildered and disappointed with my own body for not cooperating with my dream.

Later that day, two nurses came to check on me and despite my pain-wrecked brain, they managed to comfort me and told me that what was important was for the baby to be born healthy. She won't remember how she was born anyway. Which made sense to my fatigued brain. So I agreed to the suggestion with one condition - that I be allowed one day rest to recover from the induced pain and to birth my baby on 15 December - our 6th anniversary baby.

15 December finally arrived. My C-sec was scheduled at 7.30am, but I was woken up as early as 6am to monitor fetal heartbeats, blood pressure and also was given another zantac (for gastric), as well as enema to clean out my bowel (which I loathe heartily as it was the second time I had to take it - and it was unpleasant!).

Truth be told, I was really nervous and freaked out by the thought of having to go through yet another C-sec delivery. The thought of the pain after the anaesthetic has worn off, having to walk after the operation, caring for the incision wound, dealing with wound infection (my previous incision actually became infected and oozed foul-smelling discharge for weeks before I decided to go to a doctor to get it checked out) and most importantly, the difficulty of nursing my baby for the first few days after the surgery are really intimidating! The last part was the toughest - right after surgery, I could not sit up to breastfeed and was told to lie sideways to feed instead. Moving my body sideways was agony enough.

Yet, I tried to psyche myself into thinking that at least it will be over soon and hey, who else gets to celebrate three different occasions on the same date? Wedding anniversary and birthdays all fall on 15 December :) Something special that's worth the sacrifice.

So on the morning itself, I was calmer and definitely more confident of going through C-sec for the second time. At least, I know the drill already - change into surgery gown, wheeled into operation theater (OT), sign some forms, have the spinal block injection, lie down, have catheter inserted inside, have tummy cut open, baby out, kiss baby, wound stitched up, wheeled into recovery area, wait for 30 minutes, and then back to own room to meet baby and a round of breastfeeding.

And several times I warned Hubby, 'Please do not faint during the operation, or this will be the last time you'll get me pregnant!' No freaking way I'm going to endure the operation and any complexity on my own this time.

I was not really that confident with my anaesthetist - during his briefing session on the previous night, he spoke so fast that I had to repeatedly ask him to slow down to comprehend anything that he was saying. So when he was flushing out my blood clot from the drip needle stuck on my left hand since Monday night, I nervously told him, 'Please tell me before you do anything!'

He took it seriously. So when he was injecting the spinal block, he actually narrated every single action he took,

'Now looking for the area between your spine to inject... found it.'
'Now sterilising the area and its surrounding on your back. Slight cool sensation there...' while rubbing iodine or whatever steriliser he's using on my back.
'Now sterilising the area for the second time...'
'Now inserting needle in the area... slight stinging. Take a deep breath...'

OK, it was a bit too much but I found it to be amusing and almost hilarious that I forgot to feel nervous! I imagined that my obgyn will do the same thing,

'OK, now cutting open the first layer of your tummy... Slight discomfort there...' OMG! Scary!

But of course she did not. After the drug had taken its course and my lower body started to feel tingling numb, I was asked to lie down and an oxygen mask was put on me. Then only Hubby appeared and sat down next to me. The funny thing is, he kept looking down throughout the whole operation for fear of accidentally seeing any blood and... there goes any prospect of having a son the next time!

Thankfully, I slept late the night before so I was feeling sleepy, on top of the numbing effect of the drug coursing through my spine and into my nervous system. Knowing what was happening to me helped me as well - so I was less concerned and concentrated on feeling blissfully not in pain while inhaling the oxygen supplied.

I'm on vacation, I thought peacefully. Hubby was stroking my head and yes, the whole experience was not too bad this time! No pain below the shoulder blade (which actually was due to trapped gas last time), no feeling to my legs and only the blissful feeling of sleepiness engulfing me and shrouding my brain.

My obgyn's assistant warned me to feel slight pressure as the top of my tummy was pressed down to push the baby out. A few minutes later, my obgyn cheerfully said, 'Hello, it's a healthy baby girl!'

It's a girl!

I heard the sound of fluid sucked out from her lungs before she let out a very loud scream almost like she was furious of being forced out of the warm comforting womb.

Baby was quickly cleaned up, weighed and measured before a nurse took her to us and I almost cried out of joy at seeing this beautiful little girl. We kissed her - blood-stained and all, before Hubby took her and wandered into a corner of the room to recite azan and iqamah. Then she was whisked off to the nursery in a warm incubator. I asked Hubby to follow them to the nursery while my obgyn finished up the operation.

Then I was wheeled to a recovery area, where I spent the time still high on drugs (hehehe) and drifting in and out of sleep. Once the 30 minutes were up and my vital signs were looking good, I was brought up to my room, to be greeted by my tearful Mom who told me that the baby had been brought to the room earlier on but they took her back to the nursery again.

I requested to have the baby for breastfeeding, but before that, I started to shiver badly till my teeth chattered which was a normal effect from the drugs. Nurses came to bring me more warm blankets and after half an hour, I met my little baby for the second time.

To be honest, when I first looked at her properly I thought - oh, how different she is from Khayla. Whilst Khayla was fair with fine hair and tiny mewling cries, Khadeeja has darker skin, a head full of thick black hair and big black eyes. While I fell in love at first sight with Khayla, it took me some time to overcome my astonishment at this baby. Truthfully, I even asked Hubby if this was the same baby we saw that morning! I mean, the hospital could have swapped someone else's baby with mine because Khadeeja was so different. Forgive your fatigued mom who had to endure 3 days of non-progressive labor, Khadeeja!

Eventually my mom admonished me and said all babies are born differently, the womb is an oven not a photocopy machine for cry out sake. I held her in my arm and offered my milk and then, the next difference came as a pleasant surprise to me - this Khadeeja need not be taught how to latch properly - she just turned her head towards the smell and latched on like a champion! From that moment, I fell in love with her, as she stayed latched on to me for several hours after that.

3 days later we were discharged and Khadeeja did not even develop jaundice (I suspect from the constant feedings that she had, or maybe from all the miso soup with seaweed that I craved for and consumed throughout my pregnancy).

Here's a photo of my beautiful little Khadeeja - a little stubborn princess who was so mad at the doctor for evicting her out of my womb before she was ready:



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