Honestly, I was more complacent this time around. Well, the 1st trimester was as hard as ever. I lost weight, low BP, dehydrated and was warded for awhile. You can’t even find strength to brush teeth and felt like a loser. But thank you Allah and thanks hubby, somehow the 3 months passed by.
But once that was over, the pregnancy was considered smooth. I can eat, I can drive, and can manage AE as much as possible. Unlike AE’s time, there was only slight heartburn. In addition, the gynae said baby is growing healthily (and most likely is bigger than his brother given the estimated weight), my amniotic fluid was sufficient, and unlike AE, the baby did turn facing down at the end of the 2nd trimester. I started reading about natural birth, epidural, episiotomy, etc (as AE was a c-sect case due to him being breech).
Until my 34 weeks appointment. It was during that time the gynae suddenly said the baby’s femur is not growing as much. She was taking extra long time with the scan, measuring twice of everything. She even measured the humerus (which she never did before), hence I realized something must be off chart. Coincidentally hubby did not come to that check up. So it’s just me digesting the info. But since our detailed scan result did not really show anything red flag, she said to come back in 2 weeks and see how it goes. The baby’s estimated weight was 2kg at that time.
When I told hubby, he’s like “what’s that even means?” and suggest to go to another gynae for 2nd opinion. Me, being in 3rd trimester, I just do not have the energy to pull out such stunt. Plus if the baby is really off chart, what can we do at this juncture? I googled up some “short femur” on the net, and some suggestions show that it could be a marker for DS, although it is very seldom to be the only marker. When I asked my niece whom is a medical doctor, she said not to worry about it – that the baby is just likely short like me.
Being a mother, I just felt immediately guilty. Is it what I eat? What I not eat? (coz I did skip some supplement this time). Is it because I am complacent this time around? Is it because I did not talk to him often enough?
Come the next appointment – 36weeks. It was not about the femur anymore. The gynae highlighted that my tummy is small for a 9 mths, and how the baby is not growing as much. The estimated weight is at 2.2kg, which is off chart. It’s like he’s not growing healthily in my womb. She strictly asked me to count the kicks (10 kicks everyday) and to come immediately to the hospital if the baby is not kicking. I considered myself an expert in counting kicks coz AE has this problem – he seldom kick in his last month in the womb due to his breech position. Hence this time around I could differentiate, I actually felt strong kick everyday. Anyway, the gynae suggests to induce next week if the baby still not growing as estimated.
It’s like I was awaken from a deep sleep. The baby might not be okay, and I have to face this…I’m totally not complacent anymore, but what else I can do at this juncture? The only thing I can do is pray hard. I felt guilty – it’s like the Almighty granted us a baby but I did not take care of it. Meanwhile, I kept myself busy so not to think too much on the matter.
Come the 37 weeks…when I weight myself in the clinic, I immediately knew. My weight even went down 1kg, and true enough the scan showed the baby is not growing. Estimated weight is at 2.0kg (even less than last week). The gynae then used a dopller scan to check my umbilical chord pressure and her face immediately changed. She said the reading is not good, the normal reading should be 0.6 whereas mine is at 0.99 showing the chord was pressured hard. Well, in the layman term it means the nutrient does not reach the baby anymore and she said things could get worse than that if the condition persist (something with the blood flow reversal etc). She said we have to go to labour today. I asked, “induce ke?” She said “No, no unnecessary pressure to the baby. We have to csect.” Her tone is serious and I swallowing the facts like swallowing rocks into my mouth. It’s not about the c-sect I’m worry about, it’s about the baby. Coz the gynae sounds so serious I am not sure whether we have time. I blurted out “is the baby still alive now?”. She said “yes, we can see the heartbeat.”
Since I’ve ate something that afternoon, my operation was scheduled later at 8pm. In the meantime, hubby arranged for AE to be with my sister and we just waited at the ward. Waiting… it’s tearing my heart out that we are almost at the finish line yet the outcome is so vague. Around 4pm, the nurse said the CTG looks okay and she off the machine. I wondered why she did not continue the CTG till the moment I go to OT, but dare not to ask as I already have many doubts in my head already. One of my concern was AE. He was very excited about his brother. If anything goes wrong…what do I tell him?
By 7pm, the hospital staff prepared myself to go to the OT room. It’s like going to the war. Since I did not take any food for the last 6 hours, my tummy is even smaller by that time. Even the nurse said she did not know I was pregnant (OMG! can I slap her?). At the OT preparatory room, alhamdulilah I can still feel the baby kicking. I keep on talking to him, asked him to hang in there…I promised to be the best mother I could to the boys. It was just me, the baby and Allah at that moment, and I put my trust in Allah to grant us the best for us. This is literally a ‘tawakal’ stage for me. I continued praying and recited all surahs that I can remember until the nurse pushed me to the labour room.
I got the same anesthesiologist (Dato Dr Azhar) as AE’s operation last time, so nothing to worry about the spinal injection coz he is a profesional and very good with people management. There was hardly any pain at all. After about 1/2hour, I heard the sound of Ian crying… and the gynae told me “baby is okay Monina.” It was one of the most grateful moments I ever experienced in my life. I could hear the medical staff talking about how the chord was very long and wrapped around the baby’s neck twice. Told hubby to go attend the baby as I am in good hands. Alhamdulilah alhamdulilah alhamdulilah. The nurse showed me the baby before bringing him to the nursery, masha Allah he is so small. My gynae (Dr. Ariza) showed a relief face before leaving the OT room and I thanked her so much for her immediate action.
Thank you Allah for the chance, for us to meet and raise Muhamad Ian Muhsin in our family.
[Note: The next day during the ward round, the gynae told us that although cord around the baby’s neck is normal and rarely harmful to the babies, but for my case the cord was very tight – hence pressured – which might be the reason why the baby is not growing according to chart anymore after 34 weeks. We were informed that this can’t be detected by the 2D ultrasound scan machine, they can see the cord but cannot really measure how tight it was. Although some believe that private hospitals sometimes do unnecessary c-sect, I believe in my case it was necessary and it happened at Allah’s will].