Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Birthing Story...

As shared in the egroup N@W... :)

Finally, I can finally share something to this group and it's my birthing story.

For the past couple of weeks, especially last month, ang dami kong nabasa who were waiting to give birth. Akala ko, I'd be one of them this month. Yung aabutan ng EDD and manganganak sa gusto sana naming maging birthday ng baby namin, which is September 26. Yun kasi yung supposed wedding date namin this year but napaaga because I got pregnant. Hehe. So far, during the early days of this month, cooperative naman si baby. My whole pregnancy was relatively easy. I didn't have any morning sickness, no unusual cravings, no pre-term labor, etc. The only complication I did have was spotting during the 6th week, the week I found out I was pregnant. But that was only such a tiny drop of blood I saw when I peed and hindi na naulit. My OB prescribed meds to make the baby hold on in my womb and not be consumed by the bleeding inside. Thankfully, it worked.

Anyway, as my OB was due to leave for a week for a conference in Rome, she made sure to check all of her patients the day before her leave, which was last September 8. My cervix was still very much closed, much to the satisfaction of my OB. Sayang din daw kasi dahil finally, i-inaugurate na yung bagong Delivery Room sa MMC on the 15th. Dapat daw abutan ko yun kasi the lamaze room is really big. (I was planning to give birth via lamaze all the way by the way since I have a high tolerance on pain.) And she was all for September 26, too and she said that most likely, masunod gusto namin ni hubby with the way I'm being "good".

Come Sept. 9, 3:30AM, I woke up with a start. Kasi I was feeling pain in my lower abdomen and back. Parang may gas and I thought I just had to poop. So, I stood up from the bed and went to the toilet. Siguro I was there around 15-20 minutes, trying to poop. I had a bit of success but the pain was still there. Giving up on the bowel movement area, I cleaned up and went back to the room and just sat. I was in pain. Not constantly but every so often. Bigla ko na lang naisip na, contractions ba to? I haven't had any experience of those Braxton Hicks kasi so I wasn't sure. Or kung meron man, di ko naramdaman. So, I stood up again and got my watch and my phone. I was timing the duration of the pain and the intervals. After several timings, I concluded na contractions nga ata yung nararamdaman ko. My contractions were kinda irregular but they weren't stopping. I was contracting for 30-60 seconds within 5-10 minutes. Di na ko nakatulog. I was lying horizontally on the bed, my head beside my husband's stomach, and I was grunting and groaning every so often. I decided to wait and see just how much my contractions would progress, and wait for my alarm.

When the alarm sounded, I slowly stood up and gathered clothes for my bath. Like what my childbirth teacher said, take a bath since I wouldn't know when I would be able to take one again after giving birth. I felt that this is it. It's either today's the day or it's a false alarm. But from my contractions, I'm leaning towards the former. Feeling this, I called up my mom but sadly, she wasn't up yet. It was my sister who took the call. It was around 5:45AM already at that time. I just told my sister that it was nothing and I put down the phone and took a bath. It was hard work, as I had to stop and clench my fists for the pain I was feeling. It was bearable, tolerable, but it was still painful. I told myself, I can do it. I'm going to give birth without any painkillers. And with that thought, I was able to continue my morning ritual. When I was already grooming myself, already dressing up for work, my mom called and the first thing she asked after I said hello was, "Ano? Manganganak ka na?" I mean, there wasn't any other reason for me to call that early if not for that. I just said, "Oo? Ata? Malay ko!" Natawa sya sa sagot ko and she proceeded to ask questions on what happened, questions that stemmed from her own birthing experience. The last thing she asked was, "Ano? Papasok ka pa?" Sabi ko, "Oo naman. Mas mabuti na yun since mas malapit ako sa ospital just in case." And she said, "Tama yan. Saka kaya mo naman, eh. Sige, tawag ka na lang ulit pag sigurado ka na."

At this point in time, I still haven't fully woke up my husband. Kawawa naman kasi kung totoo. Mapupuyat at mapapagod yun sigurado so I only roused him a bit after I took a bath to tell him I was feeling pain. He asked kung contractions daw ba, and sabi ko, di ko alam. He kinda dozed off again after that but after talking to my mom, I woke him up for real this time. Sabi ko, kelangan na nyang gumising kasi kailangan naming mag-empake dahil baka nga mapa-anak na ko. Ayun. Tumayo bigla and asked how I am. I just told him, go get ready while I decide on the clothes we'd pack for the hospital. It was good timing, too, maybe, as it was just the night before na I decided to take out the baby things we bought and fold them neatly. Lalabhan ko dapat during the weekend. Yun pala, kelangan kong alisin mga tags para derecho na sa bag the day after. Yun na ata yung nesting instinct na sinasabi nila.

After packing, we had breakfast, or he had breakfast and I had a bit of water. Di ko feel kumain and kahit tubig parang ayaw ko. I was trying to bear the pain while keeping my mind together, constantly looking at the second hand of the clock every now and then, sometimes asking my husband to massage my back because of the pain. And then it was time to go to work. Supposedly, we'd be taking a cab (buti na lang, sa Ayala branch papasok husband ko that day. Parang tiniming lahat ni Lord ang mangyayari...). Kaso, ang tagal. Finally, nag-shuttle na din kami. Ayoko sana mag-shuttle kasi madaming tao and pano kung sobrang sakit na, di ba, at kailangan ko nang dumerecho sa ospital? But we made it to my building, the two of us walking at a somewhat normal pace. He left me inside my building and told me to text my OB, and to text him for any developments and that he's just a block away from me.

When I arrived at the office, there was only one of my co-department that already arrived and I immediately warned her that I may give birth any time that day. Then one by one, my officemates arrived, with me giving them the warning. I already texted my OB at that time, telling her what I was feeling, giving her the details that she'd need to assess my situation and after a minute or so, she called me up, with her greeting as, "Patricia! What happened?! I thought you'd be good!" and then on we went talking, with her giving me instructions to meet her at her clinic as her flight was delayed that day. After five or so minutes, she called again, asking me how I was and when I told her it was the same, she told me to go to the delivery room instead. Dun na lang daw kami magkita kasi gusto na nya ko pa-monitor. Meanwhile, my male officemates already called the clinic, asking how to go about getting me to the hospital because I might give birth that day. They said they have an arrangement with the bank car so we just have to call them when I'm already going to the hospital. After about thirty minutes, I was ready to go to the hospital so I shut down the computer and, accompanied by my two male officemates, went down. We were met at the elevator by the nurse, carrying a wheelchair and told me to sit on it. I refused, vehemently, because it was easier to ignore the pain when I was standing.

We arrived at MMC via the bank car at around 10+AM who dropped us off at the main entrance. Me and one of my officemates waited at the elevator as I told my husband I'm already at the hospital, while our other officemate bought me the medicine that my doctor told me to take. At the delivery room, I told them why I was there, and then they started asking me questions, me answering them as accurately as I could, and then they were ushering me into a hospital/operating gown. They were asking my officemate if he was going with me and I said that he's not my husband and that my husband will be arriving soon. After about two minutes, my other officemate arrived, bearing with him the medicine I asked him to buy, and then the nurse turned to him to usher him into a gown and he said that he's not the husband. We were laughing and joking and the nurse told me that we'd be going to the birthing room already when Jaypee arrived and my officemate, the latter one, told the nurse, there! There's the husband. So thanking them profusely for accompanying me, I told them I'd text them if and when I've already given birth.

Upon being admitted in the birthing room, several nurses and interns attached me to a machine, to monitor my contractions and the heart rate of the baby, and an IV as the last liquid I had was still around 8AM. The resident OB there was in touch with my OB, and after another round of the same questions (I didn't bother handing out the info sheet I made as I was still lucid and alert enough to answer the questions with the same answers), she did an IE. I was already 4-5cm open. That was around 10:45AM. I wasn't closely monitoring my contractions but after some time, the resident checked the monitor and said that since my contractions are still too far apart, I was given medicines to make my contractions lessen in interval. By then, I was grunting and groaning and holding on to Jaypee's hand like there was no tomorrow. Some moments later, I was checked again and I was already 7cm. Sometime in between that and my first IE, they broke my water bag and repositioned my cervix. It hurt as I felt them probe and tug inside. Plus, there were the contractions I had to deal with.

Finally, my OB arrived and she went, "Patricia! Buti na lang delayed yung flight ko." And then she asked how I was, if kaya ko pa or pa-epidural na ko, etc. She did an IE and I was already 7-8cm. But she was worried as medyo mataas pa daw si baby and the heartbeat fluctuates too much. Medyo mataas daw than the normal but what she was worried on was pag nagco-contract daw ako, bumababa yung heartbeat ni baby. She asked me if there was cord during my last ultrasound and I told her none. She's hoping na head compression lang yun and not coil. She also said baka daw magphoto-finish sila ni baby since she felt the head pero yun nga, ang taas pa daw. She told me she'd leave later on to pack her bags and have her husband bring it to the airport while she'd go back there in the hospital to check if I'd be ready to push. And then during her tests and worry, sabi nya, normal pa rin yan. Cord or not, I'm going to deliver normal. She'd make sure daw.

Continued monitoring was done and the contractions were already long and short in between. I was groaning and grunting, muttering "God" every so often and crushing Jaypee's hand. I wanted to stand up and walk around, but it wasn't possible. I had to be monitored. The next IE had my OB worried. She said my cervix closed a bit. I was back to 7cm. Ayaw ko daw ba mag-epidural pa. Kasi daw, the epidural will help relax the cervix, making it dilate faster. She explained that maybe, my cervix closed a bit was because, our tendency pag may masakit is to clamp on that area. Baka ganun daw ang nangyayari. It got me to thinking if I should continue going thru lamaze or not. I'm more concerned on my baby's well-being and that being said, I decided to just go ahead and get an epidural. My OB's more than happy to oblige. Sabi nya, now, she can manipulate na when the drug's taken effect.

I was given epidural at around 1PM. The preparation for that was agony. Jaypee was asked to leave the room, leaving me with a male nurse to hold onto and several other interns, residents and nurses. I had to sit forward, endure the coldness as my back was cleaned, all the while holding onto the male nurse's arms for support when the contractions came. I kept on thinking, come on Mr. Anesthesiologist, where are you?!?!? I can't hold on to the position any longer and I wanted Jaypee beside me, not the male nurse nor the other staff there. And then the anesthesiologist came, and then he was explaining to me that I would be given a local anesthesia first before the catheter would be injected. I just nodded ok and I felt the prick. It was nothing. What had me jerking in surprise and a bit of pain was the next prick and at that, I knew that the epidural was next. The taping of the tube came fast enough and then I felt cold seep through my back and I knew that it was the anesthesia already, about to go into my system. After that, the anesthesiologist explained to me that the medicine would take effect for one hour. I'd know when it was wearing off when I can already feel the contractions, maybe not the pain but there would be something. Several minutes later, my OB came back and she did an IE again and she said I was back to 8cm and told me, see, much better, as I wasn't squirming around when she checked me. After that, she left again.

I didn't see my OB for a while and I was in a relaxed state, not feeling any contractions nor pain. We started watching tv to pass the time. I was IE'd again and this time, I was already 8-9cm. The resident there must have told my OB as after that, they had me practice pushing every contraction and they started preparing the delivery room. I think it went on for around 30 minutes or so, with one of the residents pushing the baby to go to the middle as s/he was situated at my right side. And just before 3PM, my OB arrived and checked me. I was already fully dilated. She was beaming. Meant to be daw sila ng baby ko.

So I was transferred, prepped for delivery (with my legs too numb to help with the moving from one bed to another), instructed to hold onto the bars when I was told to push, etc. My OB can see the head already when they lifted my legs as she said, "Is that hair?" And I thought, ha! Takes after me, as I had a lot of hair when I was born. It took two contractions, with three pushes each to deliver my baby. Episiotomy was done on the first contraction. I could hear the clips of the surgical scissors and my OB exclaimed at my husband to not look as she didn't want him seeing her cut me. After she was done, she called him back so he can see our baby come out. Two residents helped me with the pushing. One during the first contraction, the other during the second.

Then finally, someone said baby out at 3:30PM, and I saw him being lifted and then he cried. Jaypee was all smiles. He was beaming and then he said, "Kakulay ko!" I paid him no heed as I know there was still blood all-over our baby. After a few minutes, I turned my head to look at him and then I exclaimed, "Ha! Kakulay ko," because our baby was actually fair-skinned after being cleaned. I then watched my OB stitch me up as I saw the thread go up and down. Sabi nya sobrang photo-finish daw sila ng baby ko and Medyo malaki daw yung cut nya sa kin kasi maliit daw yung butas ko and yun nga daw yung reason sa pag-fluctuate ng heart rate nya during contractions. While she was stitching, we tried to have the baby latch pero after a successful latch, ayun, nakatulog. Kawawa naman. Stressed na stressed ata. Usap pa kami ng konti ng OB ko, telling me na weren't I thankful for epidural at madali nilang namanipulate yung panganganak ko? I said, yes, buti na lang. After that, sabi nya, she'd hand me over sa reliever nya and after she congratulated me, alis na sya papuntang airport. Sakto lang. 4PM na yun.

After that, recovery room for two hours (which I tried to back-out of since gising na gising pa ko) and then onto my room for the next two nights. My in-laws were there and soon after, my family arrived. Just in time kasi kakadala lang ng baby sa kin for breastfeeding.

It was an exhaustive two nights at the hospital, up until this last weekend dito sa bahay. Non-stop visitors kami plus add the fact na he'd wake up every 2-3 hours to feed and get changed. We also had to monitor his yellowing sabi ng pedia nya, which is normal naman daw but since he had a very rare blood type for Asians (O negative, which is more common sa Caucasians, which had me thinking, wow! Pang-foreigner ang dugo ng baby ko! hehe), we have to make sure the yellowing doesn't reach his stomach. If it does, dalhin daw namin kagad sa kanya. He told me several other factoids about my baby, like he passed the hearing test and that we had to expose him to the sun sometime between 6-9AM, rashes are normal, and that sneezing, coughing and hiccupping during breastfeeding are all normal.

So right now, baby and I are establishing my milk supply. My husband Jaypee tries to help with whatever, helping in changing his diapers, asking me what I need when I breastfeed at night, etc. Thank goodness for paternity leaves and block leaves. Kahit meron na kaming helper, I'm very appreciative of his presence and support while I'm recovering from child birth.

And this ends my loooong birthing story. Sana di kayo na-bore. Hehe :)

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