After lunch, zohor prayer and a short rest yesterday afternoon, I went out again - I was some sort of Sharifah's "temporary mother" (but called Kak though... nak juga mention, hehehe...) and there were still some matters I needed to handle. Sharifah's purse, handphone and other things were still with me; and nobody was accompanying Sharifah at the hospital (other than the hospital staff of course) - I wonder how Sharifah felt then. By right that was the time she needed more support.
I went straight to the delivery hall - where Sharifah was when I left earlier in the afternoon. I figured Sharifah would have already been sent to the ward, but I needed to be sure. I think probably the nurse at the counter just got in and was unsure who I was talking about. Just as she was going through the register, the same senior nurse who had earlier told me that Sharifah had already delivered her baby came to the counter... saw me, and without me having to ask anything, she immediately said, "High dependency ward. Baby 6C." Hmmm... I wonder if this makcik looked like someone yang baru dapat cucu pertama...
"Girl or boy?" I asked.
"Aiyah, cannot remember lah. Too many babies today." She answered.
Never mind, I just said thank you and off I went to the maternity ward. I know where the high dependency ward is - I've visited quite a few of my clients in that very same room before. But it wasn't visiting hours yet; so I decided to go and see SN at the HIV clinic. I had wanted to chat with her earlier during my clinic duty, but she was too busy I didn't want to get in her way. This time, it was almost 4 o'clock so when I got to the room, SN was alone, just updating the files and welcomed me in for a chat. She took out the file of the lady who wanted to adopt a baby so I could jot down all the details I needed. The lady, Aida, is also HIV positive. SN then called Aida and asked if she was interested to adopt Sharifah's baby. Aida had actually wanted to come immediately - there and then! I told SN that Sharifah's mother was only coming the next day and so SN told Aida to come the next day (that's today).
By the way, I found out from SN that Sharifah got a baby girl. When Sharifah went for scan last month, the doctor told her it was a boy. I guess when the doctor scanned the mommy's tummy back then, the baby girl had shown her middle finger to the good doctor... ;)
By 4.30 pm, I left SN. It was already visiting hours and I really really needed to at least show my face to Sharifah as I didn't want her to feel so down. As I passed by the other rooms, I saw all the other patients having at least their husbands by their side. When I got to Sharifah's room (which was right at the very end), not only was she all alone, there was absolutely nothing on or in the locker beside her bed. Even the drawer was not fixed to its rightful place yet. The poor girl...
There was nothing else for her to do except to just close her eyes and try sleeping. But she wasn't really sleeping - the moment she heard my footsteps, she opened her eyes - looking relieved. She was still very weak and tired then. I gave her back her things and made it a point to take out her handphone from inside her bag, in case she needed to talk to her mother.
Sharifah then asked if I could help buy some maternity pads for her. And mineral water. And take her bag from the flats. Since she needed all those things quite immediately, I told her I'd have to go out first, so I could get back in time before visiting hours ended. Drove off to a shopping mall near the flats to buy the maternity pads and mineral water, then off to the flats to get Sharifah's bag. Then rushed back to the hospital to get all the things to Sharifah. Sharifah had wanted to pay me for the maternity pads and mineral water, saying that her mother had given some money for necessities, but I didn't want to accept her money. Orang baru dapat cucu takkan itu pun nak berkira kot! :)
I didn't really stay long as I had yet to perform my asar prayer, but I promised Sharifah I'd visit again the next day at 4.30 pm - and if there was any urgency and she needed anything earlier, to just call me.
This morning at my office, I called up Puan Nur to enquire what time she was coming. I told her about Aida who would be coming to the hospital. Puan Nur said she should reach Ipoh by 4 pm - which is just perfect timing.
Today being Thursday, as usual I went to the Buddies Centre to settle some admin matters. Then off to the flats to get the balance of Sharifah's medication supplies. She was earlier on given the medication to be taken during her pregnancy to protect her child. Now that she had delivered the baby, she is to stop those medication while the baby will need to be given medication for 1 or 2 months, regardless of whether the little girl is positive or not. As for Sharifah, after about 2 months, she will need to get her blood tested again, and depending on her CD4 count, the doctors will decide if she should start medication for herself.
Anyway, I took the balance of Sharifah's medication to be returned to SN. Then I saw a telephone charger, and I figured Sharifah may need it. I had called Sharifah earlier in the afternoon to ask if she needed anything, but her phone was off. My guess was she wanted to save on her battery.
When I got to the hospital, it was not visiting hours yet. I went straight to SN's room to return the medication. SN was busy briefing a group of new nurses, so I left right after I passed the medication to SN. SN did mention she'd try to call Aida to ask what time she was coming.
It was still not visiting hours yet, but there was only about 15 minutes to go, so I decided to wait outside the maternity ward. As I was walking there, I saw a familiar looking lady. Yayy! Puan Nur was already there - also waiting for 4.30 pm. At least got gang to chat with while waiting to go in. Sempat juga tease dia, calling her Tok Vogue.
The very moment the guard allowed visitors in, both of us went in. Sharifah's face immediately lit up upon seeing her mother. After a while, SN called me up. She said she couldn't seem to get hold of Aida and since she's busy training the new nurses, she asked if I could try calling Aida myself. And so I did - and I managed to get her. I asked if she was coming and she told me she'd come around 5 pm - after working hours. Her office was just nearby the hospital and so it wouldn't take too long for her to get to the hospital.
Both Puan Nur and myself decided we might as well wait for Aida to come before going to see the baby at ward 6C. About 10 minutes pass 5 pm, Aida came. I sort of "interviewed" her to assess if she was really really suitable for this child. Not trying to be judgmental, but considering the fact that this baby may be infected, I had to make sure Aida was ready to accept all possibilities. I also asked if her husband agreed to the plan (the husband didn't come along as he was working). I didn't want any problem to arise later on especially since Aida's present husband has been confirmed negative. (Aida got HIV from her first husband) At first she said, "Saya rasa dia setuju." Immediately I reacted, "Tak nak rasa-rasa. Pastikan dia setuju. Kalau tidak jangan ambil baby ni."
Aida immediately called her husband. Her husband was at first a bit reluctant because he thought the family of the baby would demand that they pay a certain amount to adopt the baby. Puan Nur assured Aida that they were not asking for money, they just wanted the baby to be brought up by a loving and responsible family. After a while, even the husband sounded as though he couldn't wait to bring the baby home. He was even willing to pay for Sharifah's hospital bills. I also told Aida I'd be visiting them from time to time to monitor the baby's progress. Aida had no problems with that. She knew I was from a support group for the HIV infected, and so she wasn't worried about confidentiality issues.
We then decided to go to ward 6C to see the baby. Problematic babies (those with jaundice etc) and babies under close supervision like Sharifah's baby are sent to this ward. I asked Sharifah if she wanted to see her baby. The moment she said yes, I went to the nurse to ask if I could bring Sharifah to see her baby. Ward 6C is at the hospital's main building and is quite a distance from the maternity ward, especially for someone still weak like Sharifah. After getting the OK from the nurse, I got hold of one of the wheelchairs... only to realise I got one with a tayar pancit! Luckily there were a few other wheelchairs available.
Off we went to the main building, with me pushing Sharifah in the wheelchair. I jokingly told Sharifah, "Beratlah!" (She's quite a chubby girl) And the innocent girl replied, "Alaa.. suruhlah mak tolak." Puan Nur just laughed away. She knew I was just teasing.
At ward 6C, only parents of the babies are allowed in. So Aida and myself waited outside and I let Puan Nur push Sharifah in. We saw some people going to the balcony side and suddenly realised we could at least have a glimpse of the baby from the windows. So both Aida and myself went over to have a look. And when Puan Nur saw us, she immediately carried the baby to the windows so we could have a closer look from outside. Cute little baby (2.7 kgs) looked just fine - and even opened her eyes a bit when she was brought to the windows.
And so it is agreed. Aida and husband will adopt the baby. We now will just have to wait for both Sharifah and baby to be discharged from the hospital.
And I just took Aida as one of my PLHIV clients as well. And you know what that means? That means I will still get to monitor the baby's progress. Better still, Aida stays here in Ipoh. YAYYY!!
It has been quite a hectic week for me. I need a break. And a break I will get. I have already told both Puan Nur and Sharifah I won't be around this weekend. I don't have to worry about Sharifah as her mother is around until Tuesday.
Where am I going this weekend? It's Buddies Retreat at Cameron Highlands!