For many months since I learnt about my pregnancy, I wanted to give birth at Putrajaya Hospital. For two simple reasons, it was near to where I live, and for all the good things I have heard about the hospital.
To my disappointment, however, when I went there in my fifth month to book a room, they told me that they were fully booked for my due date.
I wasn't really keen on going anywhere else that wasn't in close proximity to my house, so my mum and I went in a search for alternative private hospitals around the area. Later in the month, we remembered that our neighbour has her very own hospital, Andorra Women & Children's Hospital that was just a ten-minute drive away.
The hospital was very new, just about a few years old. But because a friend of mine had recently given birth there, I was more confident in giving the place a go.
Excited, my mom and I took a drive down. We were wow-ed by the place, it looked more like a hotel than a hospital. The interior decor was fantastic for a medical centre, and the staff were incredibly warm. I also love how the staff were all women. To me, there's really nothing more powerful than an outstretched hand of another woman in my direction, I love the support for women, and the sense of sisterhood going on in that building.
Impressed, we immediately paid a deposit. But the requirement came with the need to have at least two checkups at the Hospital to be able to deliver there. I went for a checkup on the same day and my neighbour doctor became my OBGYN.
I have to say though, the very one thing I don't like about pregnancy checkups was that it required ultrasounds. Being a Sufi, I truly believe that angels were working on my baby and I didn't want anyone peeking in to see my baby's developments.
I had (intentionally) missed two months of pregnancy checkups and the doctor was not happy about it. I could also sense that she was annoyed when I repeatedly asked if an ultrasound was really necessary - which happened in the end anyway. When I left the consultation room, the nurse gave me my appointment card and asked me to come in in the next few days for a detailed 3D scan. I told her I didn't want it, and with a bit of frustration, she wrote in all caps 'PATIENT REFUSED'. Um, patient didn't ask for it.
I skipped my seventh checkup and went for my second appointment on my eight-month. Then comes another ultrasound I didn't want. Funny enough, the consultation followed with the doctor asking me when I would like to deliver. In retrospect, I feel as though things went a bit downhill from there.
I told her I wanted a normal delivery, not a C-section nor an induction. She convinced me that it will be a natural delivery, I just have to set my subconscious mind to a specific date and my body will follow (in other words, the baby will come out)
Reluctantly, I bought her theory and went with the date she recommended, on the 16th of August. Mind you, my due date was for the 31st of August.
The 16th of August came, and I decided I wasn't ready. I felt fine, there were no contractions, and my baby was happily kicking and turning around in my belly. I was comfortable.
On the 21st of August I went for my very last checkup, I had my hospital bag packed just in case. No contractions, no pain, nothing. It was just another day for a checkup. And again, there comes another ultrasound I wasn't happy with.
The doctor measured my cervix, which to my surprise as a first time mom, was very uncomfortable and rather painful. If anything, I felt somewhat violated, but I suppose it was only necessary.
She happily said I was 4 inches dilated, and continued with telling me that I was ready to give birth. She asked me if I wanted to give birth "today or tomorrow?" My inexperienced and naive self naturally became excited. Wow, I was already 4 inches dilated!
In the many youtube videos I have watched over the past months, some moms could go from 4 inches to 10 inches in just a matter of hours (while others took weeks) but because I was so excited to see my baby, I saw myself as those 'some moms' that could go up to 10 inches in just a few hours.
Mum thought I should wait but because I was so excited (and the doctor confidently gave the green light), I didn't see how strange the doctor's question was in casually asking me if wanted to give birth "today or tomorrow". So I said yes, let's do it!
To be continued in Jake's Birth Story