Mother-to-be Number 2 was in a bad mood yesterday. It's not mood swing. We're pregnant what... mana ada PMS. She was fuming because of some arrangement made by her in-laws. We're due for delivery at about the same time even though she conceived a few weeks earlier than me. Since this is her first baby, she'll have to wait for the contraction to come and go for normal delivery. Her husband is a pilot, so it's not easy for him to adjust his work schedule. He might or might not be in the country when she goes for delivery. Her parents live in JB. So they might or might not be in KL during that time.
So her in-laws told her that if both her husbands and parents are not available when she delivers, they'll drive her to JB once she's discharged from hospital. That was all they could arrange for her. So, she was rather 'kecik hati' and saddened by such an arrangement.
I told her it's impossible. From my friend's experience, even if she goes through normal delivery she will not be fit to endure long distance travel during the first week after delivery. There will also be follow up appointments with the gynae about 5 days after the baby is born. If she goes through cesarean section, it's worse. She'll have to move really gently as if re-learning how to walk, sit up straight, stand up properly etc.
That is an example of the many things a first time mother has to think and worry when it comes to delivery and confinement arrangement. I wish all husbands are educated on this matter. In every pregnancy and child birth, these days, the husbands are expected to be heavily involved with the whole process. From the regular check-ups, ante-natal classes and planning for the birth to making arrangement with tukang urut/ Mak Bidan. Gone are the days when the wife struggles for her life in the delivery room surrounded by strangers while the husband melepak di kedai kopi sambil hisap rokok sampai berkotak-kotak.
Back in the 20s and 30s (and even 50s and 60s) the husbands left everything to the Mak Bidan and mak mertua when it comes to delivery and confinement arrangement. Some of them made themselves useful by carrying water from the nearby river or well into the house while some just couldn't be bothered. The useless ones would go around hunting for younger chicks to entertain them throughout his 'pantang 100 hari' period.
Talking about the 'pantang 100 hari' period, Mother-to-be number 3 told me the other day that her hubby was against that practice. Oh well, if it's according to Syariah there's nothing wrong with banging your wife after she's no longer bleeding. The longest he has to 'puasa' could be just around 25 or 30 days. BUT, as told to me by a few trusted Makciks, 'Kalau kau tak pantang, bila kau dah jadi macam kain buruk nanti, laki kau tak hingin dah kat kau Bedah....'.
The 'kain buruk' term used by midwives and our Makciks from kampung actually refers to the condition of a woman's vagina and uterus. The scariest thing that could even destroy a woman's life is having vaginal prolapse (sila Google for this if you've never heard of it). Some cases requires corrective measures such as surgery. Now, how scary is that? One of the preventive measures that every woman should take (and every husband should understand) is that to allow the reproductive organs to fully recover before you continue with having sex after every child birth. It's not easy for many man, we all know that but 'Sabar Itu Separuh Daripada Iman'.
Those having to go through C-sect are not spared. Most doctors would recommend a 2 months recovery time. From the outside you'll only see the incision scar, but inside there are layers of cut muscles. Imagine getting infection INSIDE....
I hope I've scared enough husbands by writing this entry. The most important thing when it comes to post-natal care is: Listen to your mothers (or mother in-law or your mother's neighbours...)