Look It Up!

15 January 2015


More than 7 months ago, God's greatest gift to me and my husband arrived. I gave birth to my son, Patrick Rafael, whom we fondly called Rafael (yep, no nicknames please. Daddy won't allow it.).

My expected date of delivery was June 7. During my last check-up before the 7th, my OB said that my cervix was still closed so we should wait a few more days. This despite the interventions my OB performed to induce my labor - I took Eveprim Evening Primrose Oil tablets for a week and I had two shots of Buscopan. The OB said that the baby was engaged and in the proper position. His heartbeat was okay too.

On June 9, Monday, I had another check-up and again, I was told that my cervix was still closed. I didn't really mind. I wanted my baby to come at the right time. No rush. Although I was a bit anxious about being overdue. I was told to come back on Friday for another check-up. My OB said that if I do not give birth by Friday, I might need to be admitted to the hospital for induction of labor. Brr.

Rhuel and I stepped up our walking efforts. We would frequent the malls in Alabang and would walk for hours because we were told that walking can help induce labor.

On June 10, I had some spotting. I texted my OB and she told me to observe it and if it does not progress, I should see her the following day. She told me to take it easy and to avoid excessive walking. I was not feeling any extreme pain except for some occasional back pains. Could be labor pains already because I've read that some women experience back labor.

On June 11, I went to the OB for a check-up because I was still spotting. Rhuel and I were torn on whether or not to see the OB because the original plan was for me to see her on Friday. And I didn't really understand what she meant by "progress." I guess progress meant giving birth, hehe. Anyway, we went to the doctor's clinic in the morning for a check-up.

When my OB performed the IE, she had an easy time doing it. The previous check-ups, she would always have a hard time performing the IE. It was like a wrestling match because of a tense muscle that got in the way (sorry, TMI). I was pleasantly surprised with the ease that the OB had in doing the IE this time.

And I was even more surprised when she told me that my cervix was already opened by 7-8 cms!!! I've read that you give birth when the cervix is open by 10 cms already. My OB's exact words were: "Uy, manganganak ka na!! This afternoon." I felt so happy and excited. I was not scared at all. I could not wait to meet my boy. Good thing Rhuel and I already brought our hospital bag that morning.

I was instructed to proceed to the hospital immediately. No more detours. I also had to take two tablets of antibiotic because my most recent urinalysis showed that I had UTI.

Rhuel was excited too. And he wanted to have something to remember this day by. He saw some Sports Illustrated books in Booksale in Festival Mall during our previous visit and he wanted to buy them so he can show our son that we got these books on the day he was born. (Shempre dapat manly ang libro so he got the swimsuit edition book!) So despite the OB's orders for us to proceed directly to the hospital, we made a detour at Festival to get the books. I stayed in the car and Rhuel was only gone for less than five minutes. :)

When we got to the hospital, we parked the car and we proceeded to the floor where the delivery room's located. I peed before heading to the DR. Brr, this is it!

When we got to the DR, I was interviewed and was made to lie down so they can monitor the baby properly. Some equipment were attached to my tummy.

The nurses were amazed that I could still walk around happily even if my cervix was already open by 7-8 cms. I was still not feeling any extreme pain. Back pains lang na tolerable pa. The OB on duty's IE revealed that my cervix was still open by 7-8 cms. There were times when they had trouble locating the baby's heartbeat and the doppler would capture my heartbeat instead. Akala ko naman normal lang because the baby could be moving around.

After a few minutes I was transferred to the labor room. I was so thrilled to see the nurses prepare the bassinet for the baby. Totoo na talaga. :) Rhuel had to leave to arrange my admission stuff. The anaesthesiologist recommended that I get an epidural already although I was not in extreme pain yet because he said that he might have a hard time poking my back if I waited for the intolerable pain to come.

Then my OB arrived and she read the monitor on the baby's vital signs. She worriedly approached me and Rhuel saying that whenever I had contractions, the baby's heartbeat dipped. This could mean that the baby's having a hard time already so she recommended that I undergo caesarean delivery ASAP. Aray ko! I was really hoping for a normal delivery because of the fast recovery and more importantly, because it was cheaper. Oh well, the baby's safety is more important. So we agreed to the CS procedure.

I was immediately wheeled to the operating room. I was lucid most of the time. Rhuel had to stay in the labor room and he was called to the operating room when the baby was about to be taken out of my tummy.

On June 11, 2014, Wednesday, at 2:35 p.m., Rafael was born. He weighed 7 lbs and 6 oz. and was 51 cms long.

It was lovely to see him for the first time.

We had our first family picture and he was given to me for breastfeeding.

Apparently, he had a cord coil that's why his heartbeat was fluctuating. Poor baby.

We were discharged from the hospital on Saturday.

It was truly a wonderful experience for me and Rhuel. Except that I could not sleep. Di lang yung tipong puyat na kulang sa tulog. I could not sleep at all. And this went on for days. So ang ending, I had to go back to the hospital on Monday for a back job. The trip from our house to the hospital was one of the scariest drives Rhuel and I had to make. That's something I never want to do again - ever!

I had to be admitted because my BP shot up and I felt extremely weak and I experienced some numbness in my arms and legs. My OB said it could be post-partum pre-eclampsia but the cardio said it was just hormonal. I had to stay in the hospital for two nights. And I had to be away from my baby so soon. :( Thank God for Nanay who came to my rescue and took care of Rafael while I was in the hospital.

This little bump had difficult consequences for me. I could not sleep with my baby in the evening for about a month or two because I had to get enough sleep first lest my BP shoot up again. My breastmilk supply became very low because I could not breastfeed him while I was in the hospital. As a result, we had to do mixed feeding early on. It was very difficult for me. I really, really wanted to breastfeed. And I felt Rhuel was extremely disappointed when I could not do it. I felt super weak after breastfeeding when my BP was still high. In the end, I had to make the difficult decision of giving formula to the baby. I had to think of his health and welfare, and mine too. Aanhin naman niya ang breastmilk ko kung mamamatay naman ako dahil sa taas ng BP ko.

It was difficult for me to deal with this at first. With everyone on FB bragging about the gazillion of liters of breastmilk they're producing, it was natural for me to feel inadequate and inferior as a mother. In the end, I just learned to accept my fate and I chose not to be bitter about it. I guess that was God's way of teaching me early on that I cannot always be in control. I may always want the best for my baby but sometimes, some things get in the way and there's nothing I can do about them. And that made me realize that at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is that my family and I are together.

I know that I still have a long way to go with Rhuel and Rafael. It will be challenging and difficult but as long as we're together, I know that everything will be alright. :)

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