“puan, please settle down, we’ll have your bp taken and internally checked in a moment yea,” the nurse said as i changed into the hospital gown i’d requested for.
in the room with me were my husband, mother, and mother in law. all, who seemed equally nervous.
she took my bp and internally checked me.
speaking of internal exams- why did nobody ever warn me about it?! do you know how uncomfortably painful an internal examination is?! the midwife’s hand felt almost as if someone slipped in burning slime into your you-know-what!
the whole nightmare started at 6 a.m, right after i woke up to do my subuh prayer.
i started feeling cramps, similar to period pains and it slowly started to put pressure onto my you-know-what.
it felt as if someone was slowly squeezing my uterus, placing a tonne of bricks on my lower back, and burning my you-know-what, all at one go.
my mother was pretty sure that i could hold it back- that i could overcome the nightmare i was going through; but two hours later, i couldn’t pull through any longer.
“ma, i need it”
i looked over to ag.
“sayang takleh tahan”
he nodded, stood up and started rubbing my back. at that point, i couldn’t feel anything else but the pain in one go- attacking then subsiding at a rhythmic pace.
i called the nurse into our ward and requested for an epidural.
“puan kalau nak epidural kena confirm ya nak epidural ya?”
i nodded as i leaned over to ag who was still rubbing my back. the contractions of course, were already becoming deadly.
ag accompanied me as i was wheeled into the labour room. my mother stayed outside since it was policy, that only the husband is allowed inside. as we arrived, the midwife did another internal examination and true enough, i was dilated at 1cm! hoorah!
hoorah? did i just use a word used typically in a sentence that’s meant to convey happiness? more like OUCH.
“are you sure you want epidural? if you think you can hold it in, we’ll wait for the lady anaesthetist that you requested for, but if you can’t hold it in, there’s another man anaesthetist in the other room giving another patient her dosage?”
initially, i wanted to wait but as soon as another contraction hit me, i immediately asked for his help.
he rushed into the room as soon as he was done with the other lady beside our room. slowly, the midwife got me to sit up into position.
“hi i just want to know if you’ve been briefed about epidural?”
“i think i know the basics but please just refresh me with it”
“okay you see, there’s a 1/1000 chance that if i give you a shot, you would be paralyzed. this is because your tunjang is right beside your spine, so if you’re not calm when i inject you, and if i can’t find your spinal cord, there’s a high possibility that you may face complications, leading to paralysis. are you aware of that?”
my heart skipped a beat. i looked over to ag who was supporting my weight.
“sayang sure nak ambik? takmau tahan?”
i looked down at my tummy and at that moment, a contraction started to attack me once again.
“i want it. do it”
“okay. you’re giving me permission and consent ya. your pain threshold is at 7.5/10 by the way. super low for a 1cm dilation so i’ll proceed ya”
i nodded, feeling ag exhaling a deep breath as he started to zikir.
as the anaesthetist rubbed my lower back with that cooling numb solution-majigy, my whole life flashed in front of me: my childhood, my highschool years, life in college, the day i got married and all the nights i spent watching movies at the comfort of a home- a husband i could cuddle with, a cute kitty who’d snuggle between us, and a house i could call home; if anything went wrong with this procedure, let alone the whole delivery, i could lose everything- and by everything, i meant everyone else i love, would be losing me too.
i snapped out.
“okay, there should be no complications because it’s in and if in half an hour you start to feel tingly, its working. i put a low dosage on you so you should still be able to feel your legs”
so the trick to have an epidural going on well is most probably to stay as relaxed as possible, at that in-between-contractions phase. noted.
so this is it. the waiting game.