I have to get this out of my To-Do list. Work has been very demanding eversince I got back from my maternity leave. I thought I could finish my birthing story once I get back to work since before I left, I was almost always had a lot of free time. Anyway, this will be a very long one so I hope you can bear with me.
May 11 (Monday):
After having cereals and milk for breakfast, I had a really bad case of diarrhea. Went on a half day from work but was still able to join the family for dinner at Gloria Maris Shabu Shabu. Shabu shabu yun and I can’t miss it! Paolo said that I may be already going into labor since that day marked my 37th week. The pain from the diarrhea was disturbing and I got scared that I might be dehydrated. I called my OB and she prescribed some medicines. The diarrhea and the spasms stopped. Thank God!
May 12 (Tuesday):
I went on leave and decided to go to my OB eventhough I was still scheduled to go on Wednesday. She did an IE and said that my cervix is already open but still high. She prescribed something to ripen my cervix. She said that it will still be about a week before I can give birth.
May 13 (Wednesday):
I was back at the office and advised my boss that this may be my last week at work. I did some turning over of work last week so I was just doing some more cleaning up. My department will be having an overnight team building the next day. I begged off when they were organizing it since I said I cannot afford to be out of town since I hit my seventh month. It was something self imposed. I wanted to be extra careful. They understood my situation and said that they will just include me in the Office Order so I can be on “leave” for 2 days. In short, kunwari kasama ako para pwede ako mag absent 🙂
May 14 (Thursday):
We went to do some last minute shopping for baby stuff at Shangri-la mall. It was also a way for me to have some “walking” time. I wanted to give birth before the week ends so as to maximize my maternity leave. I was also becoming so impatient coz I was getting very big and uncomfortable.
May 15 (Friday):
We just stayed at home since we were waiting for the delivery of the TV rack that we ordered to match the chest of drawers for the baby’s stuff. We were surprised it arrived early since we were expecting they would be able to deliver it in the afternoon. We had to rearrange the furnitures in our room. It was an instant spring cleaning though I had my nesting spells once in a while. We got rid of a lot of abubots and useless stuff like old and bad copies of dvds. It was almost a balikbayan box full of useless stuff. With the help of 2 maids, we cleaned the room and made sure it was spic and span in time for the arrival of the little one. I even told Paolo “pwede na ko manganak kasi maayos na yung room natin”. Sometimes we would argue since there are some stuff that he doesn’t want to get rid off but I would insist. Blame it on the 5S of Good Housekeeping that has gotten into my system. Thankfully, I always won. I even bribed him to a Japanese food buffet dinner at Zensho just to make him cooperate into cleaning the room. Sometimes he and the maids would remind to slow down as I might have some premature contractions. Later that evening, we had that dinner buffet and after I had some Fro-yo. It was good!!
May 16 (Saturday): D-DAY
Woke up at around 7:30am. I was still feeling normal. Had breakfast at around 9am and still didn’t feel anything. I would sometimes feel the usual Braxton Hicks contractions so I wasn’t alarmed at all.
Around 12 noon, I was already feeling intense contractions. I was thinking that this may be it. I was timing it and it was still irregular. I called my mom and she asked me if I already had a “bloody show” and I said no. She said to just relax and so I did. My bags were already packed but Paolo’s things aren’t. I told him that he should start packing since I may be giving birth anytime. I was still feeling some contractions and was already feeling unfomfortable but I still tried to have my afternoon nap.
I was awaken by the intense contractions by 3pm and told Paolo that this may be it. I was still doubting though coz I may just be feeling like doing number 2. But this was the first time that I woke up due to the intense pain. I was timing the contractions and it was ten minutes apart. He said that we should get ready and I have to eat first before going to the hospital since I still haven’t eaten lunch. We just ordered KFC and while eating, I was having painful but manageable contractions. After eating, I took a bath.. a very long one at that as I was afraid my next bath would be after a couple of days na. That’s when I had my “bloody show” so I knew this was really it. I texted my OB and informed her of my situation and I said that I was getting ready to go to the hospital. I also informed my mom and she said to just update her once I have checked in the hospital. Paolo was even asking me if I can still wait since he still wants to watch basketball on TV! Sabi ko talaga “hindi na, manganganak na ko noh!” He took a bath and off we went to the hospital.
While on our way to the hospital, I can sense that Paolo was getting nervous. I told him to just relax and concentrate on his driving. I was thinking what if this wasn’t it yet. I was already preparing to be sent home by the doctors.
Just before 6pm, we got to the hospital (Capitol Medical Center). I went straight to the admissions office while Paolo looked for a parking. I went to the admissions desk and told the girl that manganganak na ko. I gave her all the documents for my insurance as well as the OB’s letter. I was asked what room to get. I wanted to get the regular room and just upgrade to a suite once I give birth so the charges will be cheaper. But Paolo insisted that I get a suite since they might get booked immediately. The girl in the admissions called a nurse to have me wheeled in the labor room. I called my mom and told her I was already on my way to the labor room. She said “Kung manganganak ka na, matagal pa yan kasi nakakasalita ka pa. Mamaya na kami aalis after dinner”. With that in mind, I was expecting a really long waiting game.
When I entered the labor room, I was asked to change into the hospital gown. The nurse took the clothes I came in and went outside to hand it over to Paolo. I was asked to lie down so that the resident OB can do an IE. I was too shy and afraid to ask if my cervix was already open coz I was feeling na baka this wasn’t it yet. The resident OB said “Oo, bukas na bukas na sya”. Then she said “One, two, three…” and the other 2 residents were laughing. The resident OB said “Akala nyo ba nagbibiro ako? five.. six.. seven..” I was SEVEN cm dilated!! They were amazed at how high my tolerance for pain was because I was still very calm and would only groan for a couple of seconds when the contractions would be at its peak. The other resident asked me if I was sure I didn’t need any anesthesia yet. I said “Kaya ko pa. Ilang cm ba required para manganak ako?” The resident said about 10cm and that mabilis na lang hihintayin ko for me to reach that stage. I asked them to inform my husband about my condition so he can call my mom.
I was asked to walk to the inner labor room where some expectant moms were. I was in between 2 ladies both still very calm. One was sleeping and the other one was watching TV. It was good that both were calm since I was nervous if I hear someone scream in pain, I may easily empathize with them and be an OA. Then the resident OB said that she will put IV on me. After 2 failed attempts of searching for the perfect vein and the contractions getting more intense, nagtaray na talaga ako and I said “Kailangan na ba talaga yan?” She said yes since my OB ordered for an Epidural ASAP. She finally hit the spot and after that another nurse came and she said she will inject something for me to relax. She warned me that the feeling will be “mabigat”. And mabigat it was! After a couple of seconds, I can feel myself dozing off while I was being interviewed for my medical history.
Then, the Anesthesiologist came. THIS IS IT!!! The scariest part. My worst fear. I reached the point when I was telling myself “Ano tong pinasukan ko?!!!” He introduced himself and asked the nurse to wheel me in the delivery room. While we were there, he asked me to lie down on my side and asked the male nurse to help me in a curl up position. He was explaining the procedure and honestly, wala ako naintindihan. I was too distracted with my fear and the fact that I was alone. My mom wasn’t beside me. Then I felt he put or rubbed something cold on my back then a needle prick and that was it. I was soooo relieved. Then he monitored my contractions and asked if I was feeling the pain of it. If I was, he increases the dosage. Slowly, the pain of the contractions were going away. Dr. Anesthesiologist, you are now my new best friend!
I was back at the labor room. I was more relaxed now and still dozzing off once in a while. My OB finally arrived and she asked me how I was. I said I was OK and dozed off. I swear, I was like Sleeping Beauty in the movie Shrek. I couldn’t stay awake for long time. I asked my OB if its ok for me to sleep and she said yes since I would need a lot of energy to push later on.
They were still monitoring my contractions and the heartbeat of the baby. By this time, I was already 9cm and my waterbag hasn’t broken. I dunno how long it has been but my OB decided to break my waterbag since I was stuck at 9cm. The water was clear which was a good thing. I was also shaking or shivering uncontrollably. I was so afraid that something bad is going on and was trying to fight it off. I told the nurse that nanginginig ako and she said that normal reaction lang daw yun sa anesthesia.
After some time, I was not progressing. I was still stuck at 9cm. 1cm na lang hindi pa ko pagbigyan! My OB was telling me to wait for another 10 minutes to see if I would progress. All this time, I was all alone. They won’t allow my hubby or even my mom who is a retired visiting pediatrician in Capitol, go in. I was also feeling tired trying to control the shivers.
Then, the heartbeat of the baby dropped. That was the time my OB said she was going to do an emergency CS. She went out of the labor room to inform my family of what will happen. The nurses let me sign a waiver of some sort. Then I was rushed to the delivery room. It was chaos! I heard my OB scream “Bilis bilis!” and all the other doctors and nurses were running everywhere preparing me for the operation. The last scene I remembered was the anesthesiologist putting on my oxygen mask and then I dozed off completely. It was like the ones in the movies! I wasn’t able to see or touch my baby. I didn’t even hear him cry. I was that “drugged”. The next scene I remembered was when they wheeled me out of the delivery room and I was greeted by Paolo and my sister along the hallway leading to the recovery room. Paolo asked me how I was and my sister told me that our baby very much looks like Paolo. I just smiled and I dozed off again!
I woke up to the noise of banging pans in the recovery room. I was the only patient there and the nurse was cleaning up. I asked her what time it was and she said it was already almost 1am and that I need to stay for 20 more minutes. I asked her what time I gave birth and she said it was past 9pm. I patiently waited in the recovery room while trying to recall the ordeal I had.
After 20 minutes, I was transferred to my room. Paolo was already inside waiting for me and getting ready to sleep. He told me how gwapo our baby is and how kawawa I looked. He showed me pictures of our baby that he took with his iPhone. After that, since I was still groggy and he was also tired, we decided to call it a night.
THE DAY(S) AFTER
Family and friends started to come in and visit us. I was so overwhelmed with how they all said that my little boy looks very much like Paolo. I haven’t seen him yet and it was really so hard for me since I wanted to go down to the nursery to have a look but I can’t as I am in soooooo much pain. It was really much much worse than the labor pains I had. It was as if all my insides (guts and all) will all go down if I try to stand up. I even asked the nurse to increase the dose of the pain killers in my IV and they allowed it naman but boy, it was such a drowsy feeling. When my dad asked me how I was, I told him “hindi na to mauulit”.. he got mad.. sayang naman daw lahi ng good looks namin.. seriously.. haha! They all told me it was a pain that I can and will forget. Are they crazy?!!! There was nothing unforgettable about it!
This was also that the time I saw how Paolo took very good care of me. I was teasing him that pwede na sya mag-caregiver. He was the one busy running around taking our guests to the nursery and entertaining them, giving them refreshments. He made sure I was always comfortable, fixing the bed, pillows, my hair, everything just to help ease the pain I was feeling.
My mom and the nurses were all encouraging me to move around so I can visit the baby in the nursery. The first time I tried to stand up, my knees shook and I really cried because it was really painful. There were only two goals I needed to achieve in order for us to go home. First was to stand up and walk and second was to do number 2. I was already successful in “passing out gas” (gross I know but its really a milestone for a CS patient) the day after so I was already allowed to drink water and be on a soft diet. The walking part was the hardest since I really cannot imagine how I will be able to manage the pain. But I had no choice and I badly wanted to visit my baby in the nursery. Obviously, I wasn’t able to breastfeed during my entire 4-day stay at the hospital. First, I tried to sit up. Then I tried to stand up. Took my first step and slowly took another one. I was like a lola and Paolo was human crutches. After walking around the room, I asked Paolo to ask to a wheelchair so I can go down to the nursery and visit my little boy. After that, “number 2” came and I was really so happy since it meant I can get discharge orders from my OB.
Meanwhile, we decided to have the little boy circumsized. It was successful and there were no complications after. He also underwent newborn screening and his Hepa-B shot. All results were normal and that he got a clearance to go home the same day I did.
We were discharged on Tuesday May 19. It was the first time I held my baby and the feeling was really incredible! I cannot imagine that this little creature came from me. On our way out of the hospital, we saw Edu Manzano in the lobby. I asked for a picture together with my baby. He happily obliged and even asked if we have met before. Naks! mukha ba ako artista kahit na I was still bloated from giving birth?! He even assisted us outside to ride the car. He’s one down-to-earth celebrity indeed.
POST-PARTUM: THE FIRST MONTH
Reality sets in. Its no joke to take care of a newborn. Paolo was so afraid to carry Fonzy. I was the one doing almost everything. Changing the diapers, feeding, burping, putting him to sleep. In fairness to him though, he would wake up whenever I did and made sure that Fonzy and I were ok. We did not attend any birthing or breastfeeding class so we really didn’t know what to expect. Ofcourse there were advises from family and friends but we really never imagined it would be this hard and the sleepless nights were no joke. The first time Fonzy latched to breastfeed, it was really painful that I almost screamed. We were not successful at first since my nipples bled. But then we adjusted later on and with the help of nipple cream, I was already breastfeeding him fulltime by the time he was two weeks old.
I was really getting tired and cranky because of all the puyatan. I found myself one afternoon, calling my mom while Fonzy was sleeping in my arms and just crying. I felt so tired that I almost wanted to move back to my parent’s house. My mom was very supportive that she said that I can stay in the house for a week or two and she would take care of Fonzy so I can have some rest and uninterrupted sleep. Ofcourse I know the husband won’t approve and that I wanted to prove that I can handle this. That was the time that I really appreciated my mom for all her efforts and that I wished she lived with us. I know my in-laws care about the baby too but iba talaga if its your own mom/dad/family who’s with you. I won’t get embarassed to ask for help or let Fonzy stay with them longer even when he cries a lot and more or less, we have the same beliefs on raising and taking care of a baby. On the other hand, it also helped that I was “forced” to take care of Fonzy all by myself for me to recover from the CS operation and lose weight sooner than expected.
Adding to my post-partum blues was the fact that I was only at home. I didn’t have a yaya on the first month so my time was fully devoted to the baby alone. I was so used to going out of the house almost everyday before I gave birth that this sudden stop in my social life made me afraid that I may not be able to go out again. I also felt so manang and losyang since I was just in the house dressed in my pambahay. I think Paolo noticed this fear of mine that he took me out to dinners once a week and we left Fonzy with his mom. It was a breather and it made me and Fonzy more relaxed. It was good for him that somebody else is taking care of him once in a while. Babies daw can sense when mothers are tensed so they also get stressed and end up crying a lot.
Fonzy was so demanding and he had crying spells at night from 8pm to 12 midnight. I would literally dread the moment that time comes. And all those times that he would cry and I cannot do anything to soothe him, I would sometimes ask myself “is this what I really wanted?” But after all that crying and he’s finally sleeping peacefully, I get that affirmation that this is truly one blessing.
THE MONTHS AFTER
Fonzy just turned six months last Monday. Time flies so fast! This little creature has gone from being so demanding to a smiling, happy baby (except when he’s tired and hungry.. that’s a different story) who screams and kicks in delight whenever I arrive home and play with him. My world now revolves around him (and the husband too from time to time.. haha!). Truly, motherhood changes you. I now shop for him first before I buy something for myself. I never thought baby clothes and toys shopping can be fun. All that we want now is to be good parents to him and to provide him with all the best that we can.