Published on April 05, 2016
Zayne will be turning five months old yet I still haven’t blogged about her birth story! But as the cliché goes, it’s better late than never, so here it is!
Being surrounded by a lot of mommy friends, I somehow had an idea of how to prepare for my own delivery. I was aware that those scenes from the movies are exaggerated and overly dramatic. Although I already knew the signs to watch out for, I still asked my OB/GYN, Dra. Australia Luz, about it. I remember asking her on my 34th week. It was just supposed to be a routine checkup, but it also served as a follow-up checkup since I was rushed to the ER a few days before due to high fever. Anyway, she asked me if I really wanted to discuss about the signs of labor. She told me that she does not usually discuss it before the 36th week checkup, especially to first-time parents, because some mothers tend to overreact when they feel even the slightest pain. Haha! I insisted so she told me to watch out for three things: contractions in close intervals, bloody show and water bag breaking. She then told me some reminders. She said that I should rush to the hospital when contractions are 5 minutes apart, but I could go as early as 10 minutes interval since I live in Manila and the hospital is in Taguig. If my water bag breaks, I must rush to the hospital and refrain from walking, standing, and anything that would make me lose more amniotic fluid. After that discussion, she assured me that she would be reachable 24/7. I was already aware of that because I had been bombarding her with questions, whether through calls, SMS and even Viber messages for almost three years. After that visit, my husband put our suitcase and baby bag in our car’s trunk. I finally understood why my doctor wanted to delay discussing those things. Haha!
I went back for a routine checkup on my 36th week. My OB/GYN got concerned because I stopped gaining weight. I underwent an ultrasound scan, and I got a perfect score in my BPS. It only means that the baby can still hang in my tummy for the next couple of weeks. I also had an IE, but my cervix wasn’t dilated yet. Three days after, I had a bloody show! I was in the office so I immediately called Dra. Luz to ask her if I should go to the hospital. She advised me to go home and observe if my bleeding would persist. Even if I was already in my 36th week, my doctor said that it would be better to reach at least the 38th week. She then advised me to stop coming to the office. My bleeding stopped, but I still went on the safer side and started working from home.
I came back for another checkup on my 37th week. My cervix was still not dilated. I started walking every morning because we were aiming for a normal delivery. During this time, my husband got more paranoid. He also started working from home just to make sure that he would be beside me in case I’d go into labor. He started doing mental notes of the easiest possible routes from Manila to Taguig. He even anticipated breaking all traffic rules in case there was a need to do so. We even started praying for me to go on labor during off-peak hours, preferably late at night or before dawn. Hahaha! But as we were preparing for Zayne’s arrival, our Little Kolokoy decided to enter this world in the most anticlimactic way possible!
I came back to my OB/GYN for my 38th week checkup. I had another IE, but my cervix was still not dilated. My doctor said that we could wait a little longer, but my BPS results alarmed her. Based from the ultrasound, my amniotic fluid had started to reach its “critical” level. She said that it could have been remedied by increasing fluid intake, but we got bigger problems. First, my placenta is already “aged”. (Sorry, I forgot the exact medical term for it.) And second, the umbilical cord is coiled around Zayne’s neck. She then decided to put me in induced labor. That. Same. Day. So yeah! No timing of contractions. No water bag breaking inside the car. No overspeeding. No breaking of traffic rules. Zayne wanted to enter the world in the most “chillax” way possible. :p
It was November 7, 2015. It fell on a Saturday. Everybody was clueless about it. Boyet just sent SMS messages to our parents telling them that my labor had to be induced. We had early dinner. I even had time to wash my face and brush my teeth before I proceeded to the OB/GYN Complex of St. Luke’s Global. We were supposed to be in the normal labor room because it’s cheaper, but I was put in the High Risk Unit because they were understaffed at that time. My husband had his own La-Z-Boy while I was in labor!!! The amazing thing was that my room was the last one in the HRU. As soon as I got in my bed, I found out from the other nurses that patients started coming in, and that there were already 4 patients in the standard labor room. Hihi.
I was put on IV and strapped on a fetal monitor around 8PM. They placed me on oxytocin and Buscopan. Mild contractions started to kick in. Dra. Luz was in constant contact with me and the resident doctors. I was so “chill” that I even had the energy to talk with my best friends via Viber. I would just stop each time a new dose of Buscopan was injected because it made me feel like I was losing my eyesight. Haha! My parents, and my in-laws rushed to the hospital. Boyet asked them to go home because the doctor told us that it was going to be a long wait.
I had another IE at 12AM. I was 1 cm dilated. I was told that it was not advancing probably because the umbilical cord was pulling Zayne back. My doctor said that it would still be a long way to go so I was advised to sleep through the night. Sleeping was impossible at that time because aside from the contractions, I had countless of IEs here and there. Wala, nasanay na akong may sundot ng sundot sa peps ko!
I was already experiencing moderate contractions. The nurses kept on asking me if I wanted to have epidural. I kept on telling them that I could manage. If you grew up battling asthma, gastritis, migraine and survived having impacted tooth extraction 4 times, the pain I was feeling at that time seemed like a walk in the park! Hahaha! Daldal pa nga ako ng daldal sa Viber! :p
I was still 1 cm dilated by 6AM so I was advised to eat breakfast. The contractions were getting stronger. By that time, Boyet and I already learned how to read the fetal monitor. To give you an idea, there are two numbers on the screen. The first number indicates the strength of the contractions while the other is the baby’s heart rate. The key was to keep the baby’s heart rate normal no matter how strong the contractions were.
Dra. Luz arrived around 8AM. She was looking fresh and all made up on a Sunday morning! (Ang ganda kaya ni Doc, promise!) Anyway, I was already in labor for 12 hours. She asked me if I could still tolerate the pains. I said YES right away. In my mind, I was telling myself, “Being in labor is sooooo overrated!” Ang yabang ko pa! She told me that the Zayne is such a strong baby. Her heartbeat never dropped even if the contractions reading went up beyond 100! She said that we could still continue with the meds for the next 8 hours. But she was firm that she would resort to delivering Zayne via C-section 1) after the 8th hour mark or 2) as soon as Zayne’s heartbeat dropped. I nodded in agreement. She then told me that she’s in close coordination with the residents. She just needed to go home to hear mass and to review her kids for their upcoming exams. Hihi.
Contractions were getting even stronger and in closer intervals around 12PM. Another IE suggested that I was still 1 cm dilated. One of the resident doctors told me that she would be doing something to help the dilation of my cervix. I honestly can’t remember how she said it, but I vividly remember how she did it! Ang bottomline: masakit siya! Mas masakit siya sa labor pains! :p
Although the contractions were bearable, I was already starting to get weak. Around 2PM, I would always see the “contraction number” in the monitor glued at the 100 range. Nurses kept on offering epidural. Ma-pride ako, so I said NO! Bwahahahaha! Around 3PM, my husband’s hands almost got broken because I kept on squeezing them. Breathing in between contractions proved to be such a tedious task. And yes, I was still 1 cm dilated!
At around 4PM, at exactly the 20th hour, I got a call from Dra. Luz. She said that she would be rushing to the hospital because Zayne’s heartbeat already dropped. It took her heart 20 seconds to recover. She said that she already ordered to stop all the medications, and that I would be prepped for a C-section delivery. I remember her telling me that I was so brave to go through 20 hours of labor, but she didn’t want to risk the baby since we all waited for four years.
As soon as I hung up the phone, my husband talked to Zayne. He said, “Thank you, Zayne for fighting for 20 hours!” Sabi siguro ni Zayne, “O, pinagbigyan ko na kayo ng 20 hours ha. Tama na, pagod na ako! I want to get out!” Hehehehe!
A little before 5PM, I was wheeled to the operating room. Believe it or not, I wasn’t nervous at all, but it felt so weird looking at the ceiling! Hindi ko alam bakit ‘yung kisame ang nasa isip ko! Bwahahaha! Other than the ceiling, my next concern was the fact that I was so hungry and exhausted after being in labor for 20 hours. I was already thinking of having a bite of a big, fat, juicy cheeseburger. :p
I was so excited because we were just a few minutes away from meeting our little bundle of joy after struggling for four years. I felt like my eyes were burning as I entered the very bright room. Sobrang liwanag pala sa operating room?! Hihi. I had a thousand and one more things racing in my head. But as these thoughts battle with each other, I found myself praying non-stop. And before I even knew it, I heard the voice (and giggles, hihi) of Dra. Luz.
St. Luke’s Global was trying to renew some sort of an international certification that week. Dra. Luz already warned me that there might be “observers” in the operating room. I was so glad that I didn’t become the “subject” of their observation because that only meant additional eyes that would see me naked. Haha!
The anesthesiologist then talked to me to explain what she would be doing. I just nodded because I seriously didn’t give a damn at that time. I just wanted to get everything over with so I could see Zayne. I was then asked to go into a fetal position so they can start with the anesthesia. I was still feeling some contractions. I gathered whatever strength was left in my body so I would not jerk. I also started to chill so that didn’t help with my plan of trying to be still. I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as it was over.
Dra. Luz then ordered for me to be shaved down there. Another new thought raced into my head. This is going be itchy soon! Hahaha! I kept on hearing Dra. Luz give Spanish lessons to everybody inside the room. Apparently, one of her kids were having an exam in Spanish. Hihi.
I started feeling weird, and I wondered why I could not hear my husband’s voice. A few minutes later, in between Spanish words, I heard Boyet’s voice for the first time as he answered the magical question from Dra. Luz – “Ok ka lang ba, Daddy? Kung nahihilo ka, may upuan diyan.” Bwahahaha!
I later on found out from my husband that he was trying to look away because he started feeling dizzy. Tapos, pagkakita ko sa mga pictures, tawa lang siya ng tawa!!! Hinihiwa na ako, panay pa ang bungisngis ng mokong! :p
In the middle of the operation, I started feeling itchy! I remember trying to reach for my arm until I realized that I was restrained. The anesthesiologist told me that itchiness is one of the side effects of the anesthesia. She kindly tapped my arm to relieve the itchy feeling. And then my throat got itchy! I got scared when I started coughing! Naisip ko, “Shet, nahiwa na ako! Baka tumalsik ‘yung atay ko!” Dra. Luz said, “Jerellt, ehem ehem lang ha.”
A few minutes after, I heard a loud cry! Ayan na siyaaaaaa!!! As promised, Dra. Luz let Boyet cut the umbilical cord. I found out later on that the umbilical cord was actually coiled around her entire body! Isa siyang pusod na tinubuan ng baby! :p
She was put above my chest for the unang yakap. And since St. Luke’s is a breastfeeding-friendly hospital, they made Zayne latch on my breast. I kissed her even if she was still covered with God-knows-what-it-was! And then one of the nurses took photos of us. The feeling was so surreal. I knew deep in my heart that day would come, but no words could ever describe how I felt the first time I saw her. She was so tiny… and so white… Hihi!
They then took Zayne away from me to have her photos taken with Boyet. I was still on cloud nine as a hundred and one emotions filled my heart. My emo moment was just interrupted when I heard Dra. Luz say, “O ayan umuutot na siya o. May laman laman pa. Pwede na ‘tong umuwi bukas!” Bwahahahaha!!!
As they were stitching me up, I made one terrible mistake. The anesthesiologist said that I could relax and have some rest. I rested my head, and that was when I saw the legs of one of the doctors. Half of her body was covered with blood!!! Boyet later on told me that the material that was supposed to catch my blood actually leaked. Alam mo ‘yung natiis ko ‘yung 20 hours na labor at paghiwa sa’kin tapos parang mahihimatay ako sa dami ng dugo na nakita ko?! =))
St. Luke’s does not have a nursery. They held me and Zayne for a couple of hours at the recovery room before wheeling us in our room. She was beside me all the time. The nurses were trying to make her latch once in a while. I really wanted to get up so I could hold her, but the lower half of my body was numb. It felt so weird because a lot of things were happening around me, but all I could see was that tiny creature beside me, and all I could hear was the sound of her breath.
Before transferring us to our room, two nurses came to have my diaper changed. I didn’t even know that I was already wearing a diaper! And then this happened…
Nurse: Ay, Ma’aam, nag-poops po kayo?
Me: Hindi po.
Nurse: Ma’am, nag-poops po kayo.
Me: Hindi nga po.
Nurse: Meron po e.
Me: Bakit hindi ko naramdaman???
Nurse: Hindi niyo po talaga mararamdaman.
Nurse: Ok lang po, Ma’am. ‘Yung iba nga po hirap na hirap tumae after ma-CS e.
Gusto ko sanang sabihin, “Ate, nakaka-flatter ka ha!” Hahahahahaha!
Boyet wasn’t allowed to go inside the recovery room that’s why I felt relieved when I saw his face at the waiting area. We were finally transferred to our room a few minutes before midnight. I was so exhausted, hungry and very, very, very thirsty! I was only allowed to have a sip of water. I wanted to sleep, but my husband and I just kept on smiling as we look at Zayne. A few minutes later, she started wailing! Hindi man lang kami pinatagal sa pag-mo-moment! :p
I was basically immobile that night so my husband did everything for me. All I did on that first night was to switch sides so I could breastfeed Zayne. That night was a reassurance of something that I already knew – that my husband was going to be one helluva amazing father!
I also felt so spoiled at St. Luke’s Global! This story would have not been possible if not for all the efforts and prayers of our OB/GYN, Dra. Australia Luz. Her husband, Dr. Xeres Luz, is Zayne’s pediatrician. All the nurses were amazing! We thought we were prepared for combat, but we found ourselves clueless when Zayne started crying. All the nurses were very patient, but I will never forget Nurse Pearl! There was this one time when we failed to “troubleshoot” Zayne. Ayaw dumede, ayaw ng karga, kapapalit lang ng diaper. Pearl came to the rescue! Kulangot lang pala ang problema! Bwahahaha! She was such a darling to Zayne. Our little family will forever be grateful to all the amazing people at St. Luke’s Global.
One of the first things Boyet told me when I woke up the following day was, “Hindi na ako kakain ng dinuguan. Ever.” I have been bugging him to write his version of Zayne’s birth story because his account was just hilarious! He said he would try, but he can’t promise it. That probably means a NO. Hihi!
And that’s it! I am so happy that I found the time to write this. I guess I’ll see you all on the next birth story! Harharharhar!