Ok I better finish Mariam’s labor story before she turns 18. I’m taking way too long already compared to Daniel’s labor story the last time. Been so busy at work!
Ok time to put my hospital bracelet on and rewind back to 3 months ago.
They propped up my legs onto the leg thingy and I was in a kangkang position that no woman should do apart from giving birth time. I’m sure I was blushing to be sitting this crudely in front of these people in the labor room, but I guess there are worst things in life.
I looked at Dean, who I insist stay on the top of my head and never walk down. I would die if he sees the situation with a baby coming out.
“So are you going to cry like you did when Daniel came out?” I teased him. He’s a crybaby when it comes to his kids.
“Pftttt, of course not. I’m a strong man,” he replied.
I couldn’t feel a thing, which is what I wanted. So I didn’t know if my contractions are high (that’s when you’re supposed to push) or if the baby’s head is out or anything. So at times like these, you just trust the doctor. The doctor told me when to push, how soft to push, how hard to push etc etc.
“Ok push …. ok push a little harder…. come on Vivy, you can do it….” the doctor instructed and I did as he said.
Dean was all the time holding my hand by my side.
“Ok the baby’s head is out.”
WHAT?! Wow that was easy, I thought. With Daniel, I had so many rounds of pushing before his head could even come out. Mariam’s eager to see the world. Impatient, like me. I already felt the bond.
“Ok now push softly….” the doctor instructed and I followed.
Seconds later, there she was, naked and saying Hello World with a big big cry, louder than Daniel’s.
Nice moms would go “Omg she’s so beautiful,” but I’m more realistic here. Mariam darling, you were swollen and covered with all sorts of slimy things, and you’re way cuter now, sweetheart. Hehe.
I looked at Dean.
There it is, eyes teary and red with a big smile on his face.
Strong man, huh?
They wrapped Mariam up and she was crying the whole time. Loud!
Then, they plonked her on me face down. The nurse said to have some skin to skin moment with Mommy and apparently it calms the baby down. Being so new to the world, babies want their Mom’s familiarity.
As soon as she was cuddled on my chest, she stopped crying.
It was amazing. The whole room went quiet which was a stark contrast to her a few seconds ago, and I could hear her breathing softly.
And that’s when I knew.
I have magical powers, guys. That’s it, I’m supermom, for sure. This proves that.
Dean had to interrupt this beautiful moment with his sniffs of course. And then he beautifully did the iqamat next to Mariam’s ears. She was quiet the whole time, with eyes staring wide at Dean.
We were having that beautiful family moment but down south, the nurses and doctor were having a party. The doctor was stitching me up because there was still a small tear (thanks a lot, Mariam) and the nurses were cleaning up and one jabbed my thigh with painkiller to last me through the night when the epidural wears off. I didn’t feel any of this because the epidural was still working.
After they gave us a few minutes with Mariam, they let Dean take Mariam outside the labor room where all our family members were waiting patiently. When I was alone in the room, the “depressed” feeling came back. It was quiet and I felt so alone, I felt so weak (maybe because of the additional drugs came into my body?) and I was suddenly not prepared to be a mom again. It was a scary feeling. I remember that I felt so tired and I just wanted to sleep. But I knew that the sleepless nights and the breastfeeding routine were waiting for me, and I cried thinking I had to do this all over again when I just finished that with Daniel.
I have never felt this weak in my life. I still couldn’t feel my legs fully, and that made me angry. I teared alone.
They took the epidural needle out and plastered my back up. Did not hurt, don’t worry.
They brought Mariam back into the room and the nurse told me to breastfeed now. I wanted to cry again because all I wanted to do was rest and sleep. I just wanted to be left alone. But of course, I started breastfeeding her for a few minutes.
My hospital bed was wheeled into the room, and they needed me to move to the other bed so they could wheel me back to my ward. I remember thinking Gosh can’t they just let me rest here a little longer? I just gave birth for God’s sake! and feeling annoyed. But again, looking back, I think it was the drugs that made my mood go bad.
Back in the room, my family members kissed me and I don’t remember much except I just dozed off. I remembered being woken up because Mariam was crying and I got annoyed because I just wanted to be left alone.
I had to stay 2 nights in the hospital which was different because with Daniel, we were discharged the next day. So being in the hospital longer depressed me even more. I missed home, I missed Daniel, I missed my own bed. I was with Mariam a lot and I remember waking up a lot to feed her or just to look at her, but I somehow did not feel the connection.
It was a horrible feeling for me because I felt like the worst mom ever, but I’m being completely honest with you guys here, that it wasn’t an instant bond for me this time round. I think the overwhelming feeling of being a mom of two children on top of having two businesses to run, I was feeling very scared. And I was feeling very weak still with the stitches, I was walking so slowly, I was staining the bed with blood stains, and I was uncomfortable the whole time. On top of all this, they still expect you to breastfeed and care for your child, regardless of how you felt. It’s hard being a mom. I cried myself to sleep that first night but I didn’t let Dean see this.
I didn’t want any visitors apart from family members, the FV team, and my best friends.
Toots came in the middle of the night, straight from the office.
But still, I tried to be strong and always told myself to stay positive and be grateful.
Our first family photo
The next morning after delivery
All bundled up
As soon as we got home after discharge, everything changed 180 degrees. My mood instantly returned to normal and being in a happy and familiar environment, I started to bond more with Mariam. I was just so happy to be home with my complete family again. But I had my off days too. Like when Daniel would beg me to play with him, but I couldn’t move much because of the stitches and carrying him was off-limits because my body and uterus were all still so weak. Or when I wanted to rest when Mariam finally sleeps, but that’s when Daniel would come in and go “Mommy, play, Mommy, sing, Mommy, this and that.” So there was just no break, which is a huge difference for when I had just Daniel during my first confinement. I had plentyyyy of rest then.
Trying to adapt to having 2 children was something strange and new to me, so it was difficult in the beginning. I think I took it quite negatively in the first few days, which is something I’m not proud of. But everyone learns through their own journeys and the most important thing is to come to realization quickly and not pamper yourself in self-pity. I also learned that no labor experience was the same because I kept trying to compare how easy it was during Daniel’s birth. No two children are the same. Each is a new journey.
I bounced back quickly and of course now I’m obsessed with my little girl. I began to appreciate every little bit of her and she really was and still is a very very angelic baby, with not much fuss and she even sleeps through the night!! It might have been a rocky start for us two, but I’m so thankful that I bounced back into Loving-Mommy mode shortly after and not drown myself in postpartum depression.
Because if I did, I wouldn’t have seen how amazing Mariam is. She’s just wonderful, this Mariam Iman Shah. My beautiful little daughter. I still get all tingly when I say that. Hehe. I thank Allah swt for this precious gift from above and pray He guides and teaches me to be an awesome mom for Daniel, Mariam and any future children we may have in the future.
For now, we girls have to stick together, Mariam!