Friday, 24 September 2010

My Journey to Motherhood (Part 1)

Azzah: fresh from d 'oven'
Today, I am still in confinement after delivering little 'Azzah 32 days ago. To my surprise, I didn't count the remaining days of it, yet I enjoy every second of it for it is full with many new adventures featured by everybody important in my life; especially the little one, the eldest, the second, the third and most importantly my eternal soul mate, Abang... When I look back to the time when I first expected a newcomer to our sacred life, I have indeed encountered with countless ups & downs which give me priceless lessons..

Ammar: few hrs after delivery
In August nine years ago, I had the first experience of pregnancy. Due to my hectic life which was trying to adapt to new working & marriage life, I was too busy to study my own condition, what more to take care of myself physically & emotionally. As a result, on 17th September which was 1 week before we left for UK, I had a miscarriage. I kept my sorrow to myself & continued my life as usual, preparing for the long journey abroad. I followed all 'pantang' dos & donts for 2 months even I was alone (except my Abang) in UK. ALhamdulillah, Allah blessed us with a second pregnancy soon after that. This time, I studied about 'what to expect' from raising a child but overlooked on 'how to take care of yourself' during confinement. I learned about baby's progress, preparation for labor, going to parent-craft classes, feeding a child & many more relating to raising up a healthy & balanced child. Then, during 39th week of pregnancy, after days in labor room, I had safely given birth to little 'Ammar at 6.06am on 21st August 2002. My Abang was all along with me reciting Al-Quran into my ears esp during the operation. Yes, I had an emergency cesarean due certain reasons. Again, this was not expected at all & I was totally zero in understanding this situation. I felt a failure as a woman at first..

To worsen the condition, I had a bad experience in the hospital. Since it is a government hospital, spouses are not allowed to stay over night. So, there I was.. left alone in a ward shared by 3 other new mothers.. alone with a baby who kept staying awake throughout nite.. alone with the pain in my abdomen.. alone being scolded by a nurse (for keeping on  calling her for an assistance with d baby & pain). My ignorance of 'what to expect' from such condition added to my emotional stress. I was determined to get myself discharged after the 2nd nite.

Ammar: 3 mths
At home, I studied about my condition from both theory & others' experiences. I felt a relief knowing that I'm not alone in this; in fact many those very close to me experienced the same. Alhamdulillah, the Malay community in lboro was very helpful. For the first 2 weeks, they send foods to us 'on gotong-royong', of course the one who enjoyed mostly from it was my Abang! My main meal were only grilled mackerel (some friends cooked grilled haruan bought from chinese store!) & fresh carrot. Both me & Abang were thrilled with this new parenthood challenge. When I recalled the moment, it was one of the most difficult time for us; Abang was struggling to complete his Masters dissertation, while at the same time we were ordered by the Government to come home for good coz Abang was seen as a threat to the national security!! As a result, Abang's scholarship was stopped for months. I tried to be seen strong before Abang & then burst into tears in the toilet! Then, I was reminded to always ask for Allah's guidance & help. Being in the confinement should not hinder us from zikrullah & pray to Allah in heart. Alhamdulillah, when my mother came few days later & my mum-in-law a month after that, both had assisted me a lot in taking care of me & baby ang giving us emotional support that we needed most. She brought 'pati ikan haruan', 'barut' & other stuffs necessary for confinement. I somehow learned that I cannot go thru normal routine like berurut, bertungku & barut perut! The pain & effects from the operation which last for 6 months made me more believe in those myths...

Somehow, I was proud that 'Ammar grows up as a healthy child who had all our attention on him, alhamdulillah. We witnessed his development  most of the time. I managed to fully breastfeed him until he was ready to stop by himself. He also had 100% healthy & home-made meal with 'air tangan ummi for the first 3 years'.. the reason why he only eats healthy food like nasi, plain water, vegetables, ulaman & fruits.. and not into unhealthy stuffs.. that's probably explained by his  extra ordinary attachment & possessiveness towards me!

After years, I learned from this experience that:
1) I must be prepared for all possibilities- normal birth or cesarean.
2) How to take care of yourself during confinement  (for either normal or cesarean birth)& not expecting others incl. our mother to do so.
3) Berpantang during the first confinement is the most important for your health & getting you to better shape easier.
4) Berbengkung 24-7 is a MUST (though cessarean) at least for the first 28 days coz our internal & external body are still 'soft' & shapeable. Ideally for 100 days!
5) Communicate ur feeling to ur spouse, even the smallest matter.. so that he understand ur feelings, your pain & ur hope. Don't expect him to become a mindreader because he is also new to fatherhood & also struggling to adapt with it.
6) Good financial planning; start saving & investing for ur confinement care. Yes, you must spend within means but allocate more budget for confinement, taking into account things like medicines, hiring good 'tukang urut & tungku', healthy foods etc.
7) Always zikrullah & pray to Allah so that we will always feel peace in heart & become less stressful with any unexpected things during the confinement.

Wallahu A'lam..

Ammar: 5 mths
Thotful & Caring Ammar

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