Last night I was lucky enough to catch a documentary on Discovery Channel about giving birth : travelogue : From conceptions to delivery (something like that). It was so interesting to follow 3-4 mothers coping with the whole experience. I still remember how it was like to be a new father some 17 years ago. A case of brutal experience in the public hospital. I swear to God not to let myself or any of my family member to go near that hell hole for a treatment such as giving birth. We were in Hospital Kota Bharu (HRPZII as it now called) and the place was dark and filthy; the nurses were the descendants of Hell’s angels with fangs and all; you can hardly see any doctor around, it was a total disaster to be there. But that’s all we can afford at that time; so we put our fate at the mercy of those nurses and doctors to get us through the painful experience. The maternity ward was awful as many young mothers were screaming in vain during the labor. And they were left alone by the wall screaming and tossing to ease the pain. I peeked through the window and witnessed the most grueling scene … a young mother screaming on top of her voice by the corridor and no one bothered to come and see her, I can see the blood was all over her sarong. I prayed to god to safe guard my wife. But as she told me her own ordeal after the birth I just could not believe how a hospital is allowed to run in such a bad condition.
But again that is the only place where the poor like myself was able to take refuge during the time of great difficulty. The other mean is to see the bomoh (medicine man). I guess that was out of the question.
Our second child was born at the same hospital during the big flood in 1993 ( well in Kelantan there was always a flood at the end of the year). The same grueling experience. Fortunately my wife did not have to stay there for long. Imagine when the water started to rise ; every single crawling creature will come out from their hiding for a higher ground. I have never seen a rat bigger than a cat before …..so frightening.
By the time we are ready to greet our third child, I have enough savings to go to a private clinic in Kota Bharu. Not particularly a 5-star but good enough for us; clean and friendly people. It was Klinik An-Nisa located along Jalan Sultan Ibrahim in Kota Bharu. For the first time I was able to be in the delivery room with my wife and as I remember it by the time the baby was out I was out as well (pitam). So dramatic to see such a big baby to come out from such a small little hole. But the ladies there were very quick and professional, everything was done within half an hour.
The fourth one was made and delivered in England. I was in the delivery room as well. The facilities there were about the same with what we have here in Malaysia; maybe a bit better but not the whole lot. When we were asked how was it compared to your place in Malaysia; we said…well it’s about the same. I guess they expected us to tell theirs are far more superior than us. I think our medical facilities are not that bad; and that I was comparing with Klinik Annisa. Even now the same Klinik Annisa has even far better facilities. We were at Klinik Annisa again to greet our fifth child. They have improved a lot with many sophisticated machines and all.