I found out that I had a traumatic birth experience after I spoke to many mothers, doctors, and women who are in the birthing field. I have always relate the sad feeling when I spoke about my first birthing experience to depression. I had a very bad break down first week post-partum and cried uncontrollably. People told me is normal. There were unprocessed emotions, unanswered questions and feeling of helplessness whenever I think about that day, but I thought it was all normal.
I have always been the happy-go-lucky kind of person. When I found out that I was pregnant, I thought, many millions of women has given birth, if others can do it, I can do it too, it was no big deal. I googled the nearest gynaecologist clinic, check the review of the female gynaecologist from the clinic and just decided that convenience is the key since I need to do the check up every month. So off we went.
The gynaecologist was cold, straight forward, speak really fast without smiling, and very clear on what she wanted to say as if she had a checklist in her mind. We thought okay maybe doctor in Singapore just behave like that, they are just being “professional”. As first time parents, we expected the doctor to tell us things to take note of when it comes to pregnancy, but she did not do that. Instead she ask us if we have any questions, assuming we have already done our research. We briefly ask a few basic questions, the consultation didn’t last more than 10 mins. For next few subsequent visits, we felt more fearful and worried about our pregnancy as she shared all the risks that I carry because I am above 35 years old. She tried to convince us to do a HARMONY test (the most reliable test to see if your baby has high risk of Down syndrome). We opted for the cheaper test, when the doctor was explaining the result to us, she said that it is low risk, but it is only 85% accurate, so there is still 15% chance that your baby has down syndrome. What a reassuring comment. She also keep commenting that our baby is “big”, without telling us what that actually means? Will it affect my birth? Is he going to be OK? She simply answer its just big. We felt bad about our visits. We dreaded the check ups just because we always ended up feeling worse about ourselves and the baby, and yet we are paying so much for each visit, on top of the long waiting time and unfriendly service. We have decided to give birth in Malaysia, so we thought since we would not be seeing her for delivery, it will be too troublesome to change a gynaecologist. So out of convenience, we chose to stick to her.
In March 2020, the world went into lock down. Randy and I were able to return to Malaysia a day before the borders closed. We visited our gynaecologist in Malaysia. Contrary to our female gynaecologist in Singapore, he is warm and gentle. We felt much more secured with him. He asked us how would we like to give birth. I confidently answered: Whichever way, as long as you get the baby out. I now realise how ridiculous I sounded. I have given up control, surrendered my rights and my birth to someone whom I didn’t know, thinking that it was his responsibility to get the baby out! It was my single most naive and stupidest assumption that I have ever made in my life.
My convenient gynaecologist: http://towyungclinic.com.sg