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Fareena Ismail, Singapore

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About Fareena Ismail

My First Pregnancy

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Battling through depression?

Hi. I’m a mother of a special need child. Everything was great until labour, things happened and my girl suffered severe brain injury. We lost her for 10 mins, she was successfully resuscitated but because there was no oxygen to her brain for very long, she suffered. It was a very tough journey but we braved through the storm. It’s even tough because I lost my beloved dad to Cancer before I got to know I was actually pregnant. He was my superhero and he was always there whenever I had problems. It has been 10 months. My babygirl spent most of her life in the hospital. She was in NICU for more than a month before she was discharged and we had to admit her back again for aspiration pneumonia and then she was hospitalised for more than 6 months until we finally brought her home. During this period, my husband only managed to take a week of break from work otherwise we are not able to sustain financially as I had to take a longer unpaid leave. We were both exhausted. We are under palliative care and it was reassuring as they are always there to help us out whenever we encounter problems (low oxygen etc). Our little girl requires us to look after her 24/7 as she is on ventilator and we had to ensure the mask is on her correctly and oxygen levels/heart rate had to be monitored closely. She often has very bad dystonia that also makes her hard to sleep. My mum is staying with us, she’s not good with the machines but she has done a lot by helping us prepare food, house chores and also carrying our little girl, making sure everything is okay. We barely had time for ourselves. Whenever I had time in my hand, it’s either I had to rest or pack my orders as I am also doing online business to sustain financially. It has been exhausting. At times I want to break down but being the main caregiver, I know I couldn’t afford to. I forced myself to get on day by day, each day battling with my own little devil inside my head, making me feel anxiety. My mistake was that I did not open up to people. I kept it all in there. I soon snapped. I had really bad anxiety attack, I hyperventilated. My chest hurts, my whole limbs froze. No one could actually understand what I was going through. Everything that came out from people’s mouth felt like a dagger. I know they meant well but I felt attacked. I felt alone. Is this how depression feels? I’ve been trying my very best to brave through everything. I’m so afraid. I’m afraid that if anything happens to me, who will be the one taking care of my baby girl? She needs me.

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My birth story ❤️

Ariana Aaleeyah Binte Arif Born on 29 September 2020, at 3.5KG Our first baby princess ❤️ On 28 September at 645AM, my waterbag was already leaking but I kept thinking it was just some sort of discharge or pee so I went back to sleep at 7AM. At 9AM, I woke up and gush of fluid came out non stop so I called Arif who was at work that morning to come home as I was already in labour. We took our time because I haven’t had any contractions at that moment. I took a long shower and we both made our way to the hospital at 11AM. Gynae came to see me at 12PM and told me I was not dilated yet but confirmed waterbag broke. She asked me if I would like to speed up the process(something like induced) or go home and wait for contractions otherwise to come back at 7AM the next day. At home, 430PM, I felt contractions but I was unsure if it was and assume it to be braxton hicks. It then got consistent and we rushed to the hospital at 645PM. 8PM, gynae came and mentioned that my contractions was consistent but I am still only 2CM dilated. Around 9PM, Contractions got stronger and I had fever of 38.7 which increased at 39.7! Contractions was 2 mins apart and I started groaning in pain. Laughing gas was given but I got too high and nauseous. I asked for epidural. 11PM, the epidural was given and I soon started relaxing and laughing but shivering badly because they had to put me in cold room, sponge me with cold towel and also the side effect of epi. They kept checking my cervix and I was only 3CM dilated then. Tried to sleep but kept woken up every hour to be sponged and given all sorts of medicine. By drip, by pill in the bum, by mouth. The nurses were so worried because mine and baby’s heartbeat was high. They told me that I might be going for emergency Csect. 7AM, gynae came and I was 4CM dilated but baby is still in high position. Best news for that day so far is my fever had dropped and baby’s heartbeat was normal. She predicted that I will be giving birth in the afternoon. 830AM, morning batch of nurses were then worried about our baby’s heartbeat that has gotten very low and my cervix is not progressing neither had the baby effaced. They told me to be prepared for emergency csect but the gynae will make the call. They kept checking me every 30 mins and kept changing my position, gave me oxygen mask to ensure baby’s heartbeat goes back to normal but nothing improved. 1115AM, her heartbeat stopped and gynae ordered for emergency csect on the spot. I was put to sleep. I woke up at around 1230PM to only know that my babygirl will be brought to NUH. She came out with no heartbeat and not breathing but was resuscitated by the PD. The nurses who operated me cried along with my husband after the operation and said that our baby is a miracle baby that was brought back to life! I cried and broke down so hard.. not only did I not get to have skin to skin to her. I haven’t got the chance to even see her or gave her first feeding. Ya Allah, my heart was in so much pain. So much that nothing else hurts more than not being able to hold her! Mama called me and even though she had bad asthma attack, she cried with me and kept telling me to calm down 😢 MIL and BIL came over to accompany me for a while because baby girl had to be rushed to KKH where it is better equipped to handle her. She needed to be put into NICU for couple of days. My husband needed to settle everything else. With no sleep at all he had to be rushed here snd there. Soon my elder sister came with her husband and 5th born despite being so sick and drained out. Ya Allah, I cant thank them all enough to come and give me all the support I needed. My heart was still aching but I felt better. So much better. Still in the ward, I kept hearing the newborn crying and each time I yearn for her. All I had is just her beautiful photo and her shivering like her mummy when I was in Delivery Suite. Her health is more important than anything else. I just can only pray that she will recover. What a fighter she is :’) Thank you Ariana sayang for battling to breathe again. Mummy loves you soooo much. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I want you in my arms so badly. I am thankful that you responded to your daddy when daddy told you that I love you so much baby girl. Please keep Ariana Aleeyah Binte Arif in your prayers. This means so much to me. Thank you so much :’)

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My birth story ❤️
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