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!):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- No formula allowed. Breastfeeding only! No excuses accepted.
- Nappies, towels, and mom's pads and baby's clothing will be supplied by KEMH. (Yes, nappies too! High quality ones!)
- 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.
- 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!