“what’s the reading, b?”
i felt contractions suddenly waving in.
“dah ada epidural pun sama ja macam takdak,” i muttered between breaths.
“so, macam mana?”
by now my left arm was already hooked onto the bp drip that had to go hand in hand with the epidural catheter behind my back, and i had a bp monitor hooked onto my right arm.
i looked over to the ctg monitor again. my contraction was at 87. i breathed in and out in a quick manner.
“sakit b,” i said, and continued to zikr.
see. this is where i applied nabi yunus’ doa (QS. Al-Anbiya’ 21:87) which goes:
i kept repeating this over and over again, since i even entered the maternity ward. i swear in the name of Allah, it calmed me down more than i thought i could ever be.
i closed my eyes, squeezed the life out of ag’s hand and suddenly the contraction started decreasing.
i could breathe again.
12.30 pm, and my doctor finally came into the labour room in such a jolly manner.
“ha! hello how are you doing! you’re on epidural right? ok, come lets get you checked!”
wah so happy ah you?
“wow! this is good, you’re already dilated to 3cm. lets see how much further you can go. this is good progress!”
i nodded, withstanding a contraction that suddenly wanted to come into the picture.
“see there you’re contracting!”
“yes doctor i can feel it. epidural macam tak epidural pun haha”
“takpa, at least you look like you’re still okay. kena lah sakit kalau tak tak bersalin lah”
she left the room, our anaesthetist walked in.
“okay i up-kan your dose a bit”
“b, jom main charades nak?”
my whole body was shivering when i asked ag that question. he smiled.
“or uno nak uno?”
it was almost 1.30, and the nurse walked into the room. at this point, the epidural’s side-effects kicked in. my whole body was involuntarily shaking and shivering, and i couldn’t speak a full sentence without my teeth chattering. i needed 3 layers of blanket over my body to keep myself warm, but i was still shivering to no end.
“ok puan, doctor suruh masukkan pitocin drip okay. ni untuk speed up labour puan”
i watched in horror as she hooked the bag of mampos–la–aku artificial oxytocin onto the bar, then poking it into my left hand.
“puan akan rasa contraction semakin kuat, kalau sakit tak tahan bagitau ya, kita naikkan dosage epidural puan kalau tak bp puan atau baby akan jatuh”
i nodded and closed my eyes.
this time i felt queasy. requested ag for kurmas, around 4-5 in which he fed me. i then felt much much better.
1.30 pm, ag left for prayers. contractions were getting stronger and more frequent, more of like a one to one-minute time ratio.
suddenly i began to feel contractions over a the top-area of my torso. i called the nurse in.
“akak.. boleh tak-”
when out of nowhere, our anaesthetist popped into the room once again.
wow, how’d he know?