One thing that made me excited for 2020 was my pregnancy. The range of emotions I had felt throughout the year were vacillating, to say the least. This blog is something I wanted to do for the longest of times. In my pregnancy, I would read up on blogs or watch youtube videos to know their experiences and it would get me all excited. Wondered how it’d be for me and well here’s the documentation:
My first trimester was very exhausting. All I could remember was being extremely tired all the time. I remember going through old messages with my husband where i’m constantly replying ‘idky im so tired but i wanna sleep.’ I know now why I was so tired. I was growing a fetus!
I didn’t suffer from any vomiting Alhamdulillah. The only vomiting I did was because of the overeating my inlaws were making me do; but I did lose my appetite and hence lost weight. The initial days were exciting for me and my family as this was a completely new experience for us.
The symptoms I felt were mainly fatigue and slight migraine.
By the end of my 1st trimester, I moved to Karachi where my mum would make banana shakes day and night. I started to gain weight here. My second trimester, I must say, was the smoothest trimester ever. There weren’t any migraines and I felt like my body had a rush of happy hormones all the time. The only downside of those hormones was my extra fazul kharch shopping but hey, if something makes you even more happy then why not?
As my expected due date was coming nearer and nearer, I started to feel anxiety and had minor panic attacks. Mainly because I started doubting myself. I kept telling myself ‘I should’ve waited 2-3 years more’ or things like ‘i rushed this’ or ‘how would I be able to take of him? I can’t take care of myself. How would I be able to cope up with this HUGE change?’
My husband would make fun of me and say ‘see you used to go out with a heavy bag all the time. This will be just like that but this time the accessory would be from the brand; ‘Sahiman’ and it’ll be with you 24hr! So funnn!!’
I had two options for hospitals ;
South city and Aga Khan. I opted for Aga Khan as it was nearer to my house + my husband’s khala is a pediatrician there so I was very satisfied.
My gynecologist was Dr Urooj Kashif. She was a kind, loving and a very understanding doctor who would readily respond to all of my queries. There were times when I would become anxious about my baby and my health, Dr Urooj had given me her email and I would constantly email her about my health and she would always reply. One of the reason why my entire pregnancy was at ease was because I had a good gynecologist.
In the initial months you’re asked to come visit the dr for consultation every month which would be followed with an ultrasound scan. As you enter your third trimester, your meetings with your doctor becomes more frequent, say 2 weeks and as you’re full term, your meetings are scheduled every week.
Aga khan’s radiology department, on the other hand, was an entirey different story. They had a very rude staff. I did not like going to them at all. When I was getting my anomaly scan, my baby’s sex wasn’t prominent so I had to come back for a fetal growth scan weeks later. The radiologist was so bayzaar, she wasn’t even talking properly. She just told me ‘confirm nai hai lekin shayad larka hai.’ I asked her how’d she know to which she replied ‘abhi itna zyada knowledge 5 mint mein toh nai bata sakti mein.’ I found that extremely rude and condescending, considering i’m also in a medical school and am completely aware of the ‘knowledge.’ I was quiet because I knew talking to her will get me nowhere. I had another bad experience with a radiologist in my later days. The radiologist told me my baby is in breech but when my gynecologist examined me, she said baby is cephalic. I had to go back to the rude radiologist again to confirm my position. It was cephalic.
I was full term and my ultrasound showed that my amniotic fluid was a bit high. Few blood tests later, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Another thing i’d like to mention. We’re told by our elders ‘bas har cheez khao. Jo dil chahay wo khao.’ This is a very flawed logic and we shouldn’t follow that. I was careless with my diet and hence got gestational diabetes. I’m not gonna lie, i did enjoy every frickin second of eating but would I do this on my second pregnancy (if god wills)? nopeeee. Funny thing is, we have this myth that if the pregnant mother doesn’t fullfill her pregnancy cravings, her baby becomes squint! So my superstitious self had a very nice reason to eat too.
My dr planned a normal but induced pregnancy on my 38th week. I was told i’d be induced and then 12 hours later i’d have my baby in my arms. I was a bit confused because I was expecting to wait 2 more weeks for my baby to come. I guess in that moment I was more shocked-nervous than I was excited but later on I was more than happy. Excited to meet my bundle of joy.
I was shifted to the hospital on a sunday. Before that I was asked to take a covid test. Once that came negative, I was taken to the private room of aku. The room was okayish. Small. My husband and I settled in and then my mum and sister joined us.
An hour later the procedure started.
Nurses had come in to check my bp and then they took me to a small room with the lithotomy chair. A resident had come in to place the catheter. She was pretty sweet. She talked me through the entire procedure. The procedure was uncomfortable. The technique of checking the dilation of the cervix is SO painful and uncomfortable. I started getting slight period cramps once the procedure was done but nothing that was unbearable. The only thing I didn’t like was that I had to walk and sleep with the rubber catheter in me
At 5am I was taken to the labour room.
The room was bigger than my own private room and only my husband was allowed with me. My bp and the baby’s bp was checked every 1-2 hrs. Two residents had come in to see my dilation. After 7 hours I was only dilated 0.5 cm. The residents told me they’ll wait till 11 am to check my dilation again and if I hadn’t dilated more than 4 cm, they’d have to put the tablet in and that’s what happened! At 11 am, i was only dilated 1 cm. They put the tablet in and my gynecologist came and told me that now we’re going to wait till 2 pm to see the dilation.
2pm and not a 0.00001cm dilation. Drs planned on bursting my amniotic sac to further induce my pregnancy. I was given the choice of epidural which I had opted. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me an overview of how the procedure would be and what would be the consequences. He gave me a detailed explanation of all the cons that might’ve happen so I could really make up my mind whether I would want to go for it or not. Tbh I wanted a very painless labour and without thinking I said yes to it and let me tell you this that I did not regret it at all.
2 anesthesiologists came in, they asked me to sit up with my back curved. L4 and L5 region of the spinal cord was prominent so they decided to puncture that area. The process wasn’t THAT painful. Just a slight pinch and an electric jolt like feeling was felt on the hip area which was for 2-3 seconds. Once that was done, I started to feel heaviness in my legs.
After epidural was administered, resident had come in to burst my amniotic sac. Thank God I had epi done beforehand or else this would’ve been another mini traumatic experience for me. I could hear the forceps snapping inside after each failed attempt of grabbing the sac but eventually the sac bursted and a gush of slight red water started to flow.
I was also given IV which was to further amp up my induction so there were wayy too many inductions happening and despite that, hours later when my dilation was checked, I was dilated 2 fricking cms ONLY. This was near 10pm when the residents informed my gynecologists and we all decided to go with an emergency C section.
This entire time I was bawling my eyes out but when I heard about the C section, I was relieved. I wanted this to end.
I was taken to the operation suite where I was given 4 extra doses of epidural. My gynecologist started to slice my body open and I couldn’t feel a thing until she went deep inside, I started to feel the sensation. I was afraid that maybe the epidural hadn’t affected the deep tissues yet and I would feel the pain so I started panicking to which I was given Entonox gas and the next thing I remember was dreaming of cartoons. I also remember hearing a baby’s cry which reminded me ‘oh i’m in the operation theatre!’
I hear the nurse’s footsteps approaching me and she tells me that here’s my baby boy but I was too exhausted to open my eyes.
The operation took 20-30 mins. This actually makes me think how unnecessary the two day pains were when in the end a c section was done on me.
I was taken to my room and my baby was at the nursery where nurses took great care of him and I had a good sleep. The next day I was given a sponge bath, my physiotherapy had started and general checks ups with more IV fluids in my body were done. My baby was also vaccinated and I cried a lot when that happened lol.
On the 5th day, I was discharged.
As I entered my car, I immediately knew that this will be hard. I couldn’t sit and relax because I was afraid (plus paranoid) that my stitches will open. At home I couldn’t lie down and get up without my husband supporting me. My period had also come so going to the washroom was another huge task for me. I had to keep my stitches clean. I was given a lot of pain killers due to which I couldn’t feel that much pain but again, there was discomfort. Feeding the baby was initially hard cause baby had latch problems and I didn’t know how to breastfeed but everything aside, I can say that I had it easier as my mum + sister + husband were there for/with me.
I didn’t have postpartum depression. However, I did suffer from postpartum blues. Some days I’d get this overwhelming feeling and I’d cry. It usually happened when I started to doubt myself about how I’m not doing my best. This happened a lot in the initial days when I was in my stitches and I couldn’t change my baby’s diapers or swaddle him. My family helped me here a lot but I felt like i’m no good, that i’m a waste. It took me a week to attempt swaddling my child, a whole month to learn how to change a baby’s diaper. My mental and physical state right now is much much better alhamdulilah but my heart sinks whenever I think of tackling university and the baby together. Universities should grant maternal leave for students that go through this. A normal C-Section takes minimum 6 weeks in healing. While i’m still healing and my attendance is in danger (yet again), I am content with my little baby H.