Sunday, September 26, 2010

What I learn from 'King Eddie Hospital' - Ep 2.

KEMH, Perth
July, 2005 & April, 2007.

KEMH Birth suite

Post-delivery: Educate, educate, educate

I remembered waking up looking at the puffy wee baby in the wheeled-cot, smelling beautiful fresh lilies (feeling impressed at the same time because my husband knows my favourite flower), looking at my not-so-big-anymore tummy and feeling very hungry. I buzz the pink button, and there comes Tamara, a familiar face from the Aqua team. She beamed and congratulated me for the long hard work (so she knew what happened the day before). After a quick check of my chart and other things, she said, 'You need to stretch those legs, come for a short walk around the ward, and I'll reward you later'. I was lucky that I was properly dressed, another crucial information given by the midwives during my final pregnancy visit, which were to pack comfortable dark coloured skirts and buttoned blouses to ease breastfeeding process. 

So I hopped (hahah) out of bed, while Tamara pushed the bub, who was sleeping dreamily in the wheeled-cot. She showed me the pantry, where the labels and marker pens were so that I could label my food to put in the fridge, then the 24 hour guarded nursery, where she left my baby there, then back to the pantry, where she grabbed a tray and filled it with an apple, an orange and mango juice popper, another popper of Brownes' fresh milk and a plate of tuna and egg sandwiches, with a small halal sticker on the cling film.'Let's go, and when you feel hungry, just grab anything in the pantry which has no owners, i.e, no stickers attached to food'.

As I sat on the chair in my room to eat, Tamara explained to me a few things (and this is at 4 in the morning!):
  1. Since I was on epidural, it was essential to check that my legs were still in order and out of the pain killers, that was why she wanted me to walk.
  2. As I walk, there were no gush of 'clean' blood out of my body, it was a good sign because I was in a very very long labour, blood loss might be one of the complications. 
  3. I could never leave the baby alone, at any time. If I need to have a shower, or even to the loo, send the baby to the nursery, or buzz the front desk. Though the bub was wearing the security tag (just like the tags on the clothing at Jusco/Parkson, just a little bit smaller), KEMH didn't want to take any risk.
  4. If the baby is too cranky, doesn't want to sleep even after feed and nappy change, please send him/her to the nursery, so that I can sleep and have a rest.
  5. No formula allowed. Breastfeeding only! No excuses accepted. 
  6. Nappies, towels, and mom's pads and baby's clothing will be supplied by KEMH. (Yes, nappies too! High quality ones!)
  7. My lunch and dinner will be halal meals, while breakfast, morning and afternoon tea as well as supper will be tea/coffee/milo + fruits +milk+biccies (and weetabix + toast and jam for breakfast). Sandwiches will always be available in the pantry, if needed. 
  8. The baby should always be with the mother, that's where he/she should be. 

And at the end of the information absorbing processes, I completed most of the things on the tray! Tamara then gave me a new baby pack gift from King Eddie, as well as 'My Baby Diary'.


Another new thing learned in the morning, just after my husband entered the single suite ward, another midwife came with cheery spirit and announced, 'Are you ready to give the baby the first bath, Dad?' Yes, not me, the ummi, but Abi! Then she said that bringing up a child should not be one-sided, both parents should participate actively. Breastfeeding is the most precious way to connect to your newborn, and the other would be during nappy time and bathing. And so, Abi was taught how to bathe the one-day old baby, from testing the water temperature using the elbow till bundling it with a thin blankie. He beamed with pride, the red sticker on his chest, and I'm very proud of him, too!
The sticker 'I bathed the baby' still in the scrapbook!
Both Al Fateh and Alwani's first baths were conducted by Abi, yes, their FIRST. There were still blood in between their fingers and sticky hair! King Eddie's staff educate us to connect, they want the baby to know that they are loved by Abi and Ummi!


A breastfeeding officer visits me frequently, to check my techniques, ensuring that it wouldn't be a painful experience and the baby would be full and satisfied. I learn that it's all in the mind, including your milk flow. The officer told me to think positive, send messages to your brain so that the brain will produce enough milk for the baby. It works, even after my third.

A bit of flash back...

Just after giving birth, though super-tired, the midwife in-charge put the baby on my chest. She said, '10 seconds photo session and feeding time.' Huh? Feeding? How? So, snap-snap-snap, then Lorraine, one of the midwives on duty, stood next to my bed and taught me how to feed my baby, for the first time in my life! It was a magical experience, subhanallah!
After the baby (we didn't have a name yet at that point) was contented and detached himself,  Lorraine told my husband to perform any religious ritual before she started her routine check-up. While my husband recited the azan, she served all three of us a cup of hot chocolate! We didn't expect such courteous and fantastic understanding from King Eddie's staff, but masha Allah, they deserve proper recognition for that.

Before Mak and my husband left for home, they sent me to my suite. In hand, Lorraine had a plastic container, similar to the 1L ice cream tub; she then asked my husband to sign some papers and handed him the tub. In it, cleaned placenta (uri). Mak said, Al Fateh and Alwani's placentas were the easiest to clean since the hospital had done a great job, in a great sealed package, too!
A snap from Alwani's baby scrapbook. Just above Al Fateh's head was the sink where my husband bathe Alwani for the first time. The family photo was taken in Room 28, King Eddie's.

Thank you King Eddie staff, especially the midwives of Aqua team who have been educating us, young parents, with beautiful new knowledge using fantastic gracious methods. I applaud you!

Friday, September 24, 2010

What I learn from 'King Eddie Hospital' - Ep 1.

April, 2005.

I was sent by Dr Bong (our GP) to do a thorough check-up of my pregnancy since the papers and data from Malaysia was insufficient. That was the first time when my husband and I entered King Edward Memorial Hospital For Women (KEMH), or better known as King Eddie Hospital. It was my 32nd week of my first pregnancy and I was truly amazed with the 3D ultrasound, especially when we could actually see the exact features of the baby in the womb a.k.a Muhammad Al Fateh about 10 weeks later (yes, he was born 11 days later then the EDD). 
Al Fateh, seconds after he was born at 25.7.2005, KEMH, Subiaco.

Pro Professionals.

It was not just the machine that I was impressed with, but also the warm attitude and professionalism that the radiologist  portrayed to us. It was the first time when someone explained to me that the procedure would be a little bit uncomfortable since the ultrasound gel was cold and she'd be wiggling the ultrasound torch on my protruding tummy (most Malaysians GPs that I met just slap the gel and the torch and do their work, silently.) Well frankly, it was not uncomfortable at all, especially when the flat screen TV monitor above us was showing a movie show, starring our unborn hero in the tummy! She guided us all the way, showing us the spine, all the different bones, labeling them with colorful tags; asking us whether did we know/ do we want to know whether would it be a prince or a princess. All these small gestures helped both of us experiencing beautiful little steps in our journey to become young parents. 

What I learn from her was that I must do my job well, enjoy doing it and ensure that my customer is fully satisfied. That's trust (amanah) in your job.

Patience & Passionate
All patients were taken care by midwives and the midwives were divided into groups. I was in the hand of the midwives of Aqua group. At first, I was not sure what difference does it make but after experiencing hard-long-painful-uncomfortable-15 hours labor, with contractions every 2-3 minutes, I do realise that meeting the familiar faces that you meet during your pregnancy as well as the same faces in the labour suite do help you to be calmer and more confident since you know that you're in good hands.   

During the whole birth experience, there would always be a midwife in the room, taking care of us (my husband and myself, Mak came in around 2 hours before the birth of Al Fateh & Alwani). Yes, there were many of us in the room, but it's not cramp because the suite is HUGE with linked shower & toilet! It was easy for us the perform our solah and they even supply Halal food for us. When one of the wild contractions came while my husband performed his prayers, the midwife would be ready with her fancy massages which worked wonders to the aching back, offered me fresh hot water bottle and taught me ways to dilate faster using the big gym ball, sat with me on the chair, telling stories of her family and experiences. I was just fascinated with their passion and patience, like I was too special to be alone during the pain. I must salute their warm professional work etiquette. Triple salute!

Remember I told you that my first labor was a long one? Guess what, Alwani's was long too, 13-hours, shorter by two hours though from Al Fateh's. (So lassies, if some say that the 2nd labour will be easier for all, it's a myth!!) But during both labours, I was not being 'pushed' to give birth as soon as I could. The patience that they have made me feel comfortable and not being rushed, which was super! Though both were long labours, since I always got stuck at 3cm for 5-6 hours, they waited for me to dilate (normally). When a shift were near the end, the hand-over the case process was clear and informed. As I said, the faces were familiar since I've seen them during my pregnancy check-ups, but still, the introduce themselves (again) very well, and the midwife leaving would whisper her good luck wishes to my Mak, my husband and myself. I experienced a full circle shift during Al Fateh's labour, because we checked in and delivered during Lorraine's shift, after 5 shift changes! On the other hand, Alwani was delivered by RMW Eve, who's originally from Aviemore, Scotland, another full circle!

From Aqua Team, Registered Midwife (RMW) Eve,
with  bluish-purplish-pinkish Alwani on 16.4.2007.

 And Alhamdulillah, the results were, I didn't suffer from any tear. Furthermore, their soothing encouragement on how to breathe, demonstrating the correct techniques while I was doing 'it', and giving clear instructions to my husband and Mak on how to help were fantastic in making the birth experiences phenomenal. This was when Mak asked both of us to be grateful to Him for the rare experiences, having passionate professionals working with me through the incredible pain. Alhamdulillah.

Why can't us Muslims be like that?

On another note, HAPPY 67th BIRTHDAY MAK! Thank you for being with both of us during our two labours in King Eddie. WE LOVE YOU!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

What I learn from 'a 90 year old lady'.

I received an email from Uncle Aziz this morning. I learn alot from it.

Written by a 90 year old, Regina Brett of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .  

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:  

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.  
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.  
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.  
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.  
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.  
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.  
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.  
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.  
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.  
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.  
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.  
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.  
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.  
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.  
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.  
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.  
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.  
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.  
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.  
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.  
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.  
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.  
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.  
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.  
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.  
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'  
27. Always choose life.  
28. Forgive everyone everything.  
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.  
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.  
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.  
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.  
33. Believe in miracles.  
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.  
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.  
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.  
37. Your children get only one childhood.  
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.  
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.  
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.  
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.  
42. The best is yet to come...  
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.  
44. Yield.  
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

I agree.
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