“Yep, this is me at Week 33. The left photo shows my abdomen and heart while the right represents my handsome face. Still can’t figure it out? Tilt your head slightly to your right and you’ll see both my mesmerizing eyes and button nose. Yes, that’s right!
I weigh 2.1kg now, up 600 grams from two weeks ago. Doctor said I’m lying upside down in mommy’s womb, curled up with my body facing mommy’s left. Since it’s getting really squeezy in here, I don’t really have a choice, do I?
What’s different this time is the location and the man who navigated the scanning tool on mommy’s belly. Meet Dr Choong Kuo Hsiang from Pantai Bangsar Hospital, the fatherly gynae who will be welcoming me into the world. Yep, after two weeks of contemplation, mommy and daddy finally made the courageous decision to ‘try out’ another healthcare provider who will agree to their desired birth plan. A doctor who will see eye to eye with mommy’s wish to deliver me in a sitting position as upright as possible; someone who encourages labour to be as natural as it can be. Sadly, not many gynaes in Malaysia are supportive of these methods.
Over the weekend, my parents checked out Kelana Jaya Medical Centre’s delivery ward and rooms. They were really impressed with the friendly and informative nurse who brought them around. The delivery and room rates are affordable too – only RM2k – RM3k for natural birth and RM4k to RM5k for C-sec. Unfortunately, the hospital practises the old-school way of labour, specifically in this order – give oxytocin to speed up labour, break the waterbag if that doesn’t work, perform episiotomy to ease baby’s exit, prescribe pethidine if pain is unbearable and so on. All these are mentioned and conducted as if they’re part and parcel of a labour, which put me off because bringing a life into the world should be a gradual and treasured process, not a zip-zap procedure.
When mommy voiced out her birth plan to Dr Choong, he smiled and whipped out photos taken from yesteryears. One particular photo, dated in 1995, shows a woman giving birth squatting with the support of her husband behind, and Dr Choong kneeling down and assisting beside. He mentioned that he has been practicing various birthing positions since ages ago and was surprised that younger doctors these days aren’t game for it. When he further said, “What’s the rush of speeding up labour? It should be as natural as possible”, mommy and daddy recognised the ‘click’ instantly. Another added advantage is apparently, Dr Choong’s wife – Christine (same lady from Mamalink’s ante-natal class) – who also works as a lactation consultant in the hospital, does her rounds to guide his patients on breastfeeding.
He even stamped and signed Mommy’s birthplan:
His consultation and scanning fees cost triple of Dr Noor’s, but well, daddy figured that we have saved enough from visits to Dr Noor previously. So, we shall see Dr Choong again in two weeks’ time! Mommy is relieved.
P/S: Mommy was so afraid Dr Choong would refuse to accept her as a patient due to her late pregnancy, that she wanted to appear as problem-free as possible and contemplated adding tap water into her urine, just in case there are sugars in it again. She didn’t of course. Fortunately, the urine test came out just fine.” *wink wink*