*Warning : Long rantings on giving birth, it may bore you to tears.*
Fifteen years ago, there was no internet (at least where I came from). All of us cannot pretend to play doctors and act smart like we are now. Basically, we were under the good hands of our doctors. Period.
I was going to have a baby and hence, I read up a lot of information. I did feel like a smart-ass though. I also bodek my ob-gynae well so that I am not a mere statistic and number. Respect and trust for my doctor was and is still the rule of the game.
My eyes lighted up when I see him. I greeted him with cheerful words and smiles. I cracked jokes to get him to talk (and explain more). I asked questions which will compelled him to tell me things. I made him feel important! I would twist them around my fingers and take up as much of their time as possible. Hey, I am paying, remember?
After two days of labour inducement, they still couldn’t get my stubborn cervix to open up. I eavesdropped on everything the midwives and doctor talked about. I butted in and asked them questions, making myself like part of the team. Because I AM THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON THERE. And I am paying, remember?
I heard about kaput and meconium. So, I barked the order.
“Dr. Hardesty, I want you to give me a caesearan operation NOW. I am not going to take risk because you said the baby head’s has kaput and there is meconium in the amniotic fluid, right? I do not want to wait any further. Let’s do it now.”
*fast forward, fast forward*
After giving birth, this 6’2″, blonde hair, blue eyes, American missionary doctor, sat by my bedside, held my hands and told me,
“Lilian, you are a very brave person.” *swooned, at the remarks, not the looks*
I named my eldest son after him. Jeffrey was born 4.1kg on 26th April, 1990. Dr. Jeffrey Stephen Hardesty’s birthday is on the next day.
Photo of my days old firstborn, taken 15 years ago. He is now 5′ 6″ tall
Dr Hardesty also delivered my 2nd son in 1992 (VBAC) but he had left Malaysia after that. He probably planted the seed of faith in me. One sentence that he uttered before putting me to sleep for the operation, 15 years ago, had stayed on in my mind.
“Lilian, can I pray for you?”
“Mother Mary, help me to bring this child of Lilian into this world. Amen”
*administer G.A. and zzzzzzz*
**I had stayed in the labour room several times, the last one was for several days. (when trying to delay Vincent’s birth) Many new parents are not in control of the situation. They are either too panicky or too arrogant. They either knew too little or thought they know everything. In an ideal situation, patients and doctors should have a cohesive relationship. Respect and trust your doctors but voice your concerns in a firm but diplomatic manner. Some things cannot be undone, so be prepared always.