Romy’s best friend Gerald Garcia’s wife Emily gave birth May 27 at The Medical City. We went to visit them right after giving Aliya her morning bath. Chatting with Emily and watching her fresh out of the delivery room made me remember what I myself went through when I gave birth in Sept last year. Made me remember to write my BIRTHING STORY. Here goes…
Sept 4, 2007, 10pm
We just finished dinner. I settled in our sofa bed to watch TV, when I felt a little pop, then the gushing of water. Even if it was my first time, I knew it was my water bag. I told Romy, “Honey, manganganak na yata ako!” Our helper Len-len didn’t know what to do as I rushed to the bathroom. I asked for my towel, and asked Romy to call up my mom and bring the car to our place. Water kept gushing down my legs. Instinctively, I took a shower. I know I can take my time.
Romy helped me get dressed while I instructed Len-Len to bring our hospital bags to the car, which has now arrived. Since we don’t have a garage in our place, we park in my parents’ house which is only 5 minutes away.
We arrived at The Medical City. My OB Dr Florante Gonzaga already gave me a pass/note so I can go straight to the Pre-Labor room in case my water bag breaks. With our digicam, I even took a shot of me being wheeled to the room. They strapped the Fetal Heart Monitor and the Contraction Monitor around my tummy. Hearing my baby’s heart beating is indeed music to my ears. The resident OB did an IE on me and said I haven’t dilated. I can hear them talking on the phone to Dr Gonzaga who, by that time, is understandably ready to sleep, hehe.
Dr Gonzaga arrived fresh and cool. I love my OB! He’s so reassuring and fatherly! I laid hands on my tummy and spoke words of victory. Dr Gonzaga told me that now that my water bag broke, he will have to do a CAESARIAN SECTION on me. I didn’t mind because I’m not sure if I still want to undergo labor. I got too excited though and eventually started chilling. They thought I was nervous. I signed the waiver and asked my mom to take pictures as I do this. Romy was told not to leave the vicinity as I will be giving birth soon.
Sept 5, 1220am
Romy and I are now very excited. I reminded Romy to make sure to take pictures during the delivery. Dr Gonzaga promised he will allow Romy to be inside the delivery room when I give birth. I later found out this is a privilege and a blessing as not all OBs permit this. I think it was also because Dr Gonzaga is the Chairman of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Dept of The Medical City. They transferred me from the bed to the stretcher.
A nurse (or two, can’t remember anymore) wheeled me to the Delivery Room. I remember this room because this was also where I had a d&c a year ago when I had a blighted pregnancy. I asked for blankets, very cold inside. The anesthesiologist, Dr Torres arrived. His voice is soothing, kind and he’s ma-chika. Even asking me about my job and what shows I write. He was also my anesthesiologist last year.
Nurse took sample of my skin. The thought of a little knife against my skin made me more nervous, but reminded self that this is nothing compared to the CS proper later. I also told myself I have no choice, manganganak at manganganak talaga ako. Kelangan maging matapang!
Dr Torres asked me to relax for it is now time for the EPIDURAL. This is the part I dread the most. I saw an AVP on epidurals before and am not sure if I can endure the pain. It took time though before they can insert the needle because they have to spray something cold on my back to numb it, I guess. A male nurse was holding me real tight because when administering the Epidural, one has to be curled in a really curled position. Unlike a few minutes ago when I was feeling cold, now naman I was sweating like crazy! Parang, please Lord, matapos na sana! Finally, DR TORRES said, “Abegail, eto na. Relax ka lang.” I kept praying and praying! Dr Torres said, “Ok, tapos na.” I said, “Tapos na ho?” It wasn’t really painful at all! Konti lang!
I felt the thick as in very thick fluid flowing through my veins and that was the part that kinda hurt. As in dumadaloy talaga yung fluid! Around three times I felt it.
Then I was assisted to lie on my back. A cloth cover was positioned in front of me and I started to notice my legs are now really numb. Dr Torres asked if I can bend it and I can’t. He said it’s good, only means the epidural has taken effect. Started feeling groggy by this time…
I remember I was staring at the very bright light of the ceiling and hear voices…
Until I heard a baby crying! And I heard Romy’s voice, “Baby, don’t cry. Daddy’s here. Daddy’s here.” Ohmigosh! Nanganak na ko!
I heard a nurse say, “Mommy, andito na’ng baby mo.” I turned to the left and indeed, there’s my baby! A tiny, pinkish, baby! The nurse let me kiss the baby and she brought the baby’s lips to my boobies. Bonding daw. Gosh! I’m so happy! Amputi ni baby!
Then I felt soft, painless tugging down my abdomen. I asked a nurse what was happening and she said I was being stitched up. Wow, hindi masakit, ha! I even heard Dr Gonzaga and Dr Torres chatting, about something else. So I felt walang problema kasi naka-move on na sila, haha! After a few minutes, Dr Gonzaga and Dr Torres congratulated me. I just delivered daw a healthy baby girl! I asked, “OK po ba siya?” Dr Gonzaga said “She’s ok, she’s very healthy. You’ll now be transferred to the recovery room.” That was all I wanted to hear and then I fell asleep.
Next thing I knew, I was feeling very cold again (maginawin talaga ako), I asked the nurse for more blankets, and to turn down the airconditioner. Nurse was kind and kept monitoring if I can already move my legs. I still can’t. Most I can do then was wiggle my toes. A few moments later I can bend my knees a little. My blood pressure was consistently normal, too. I thank God because I’ve heard horror stories of blood pressure either shooting up or down when a woman gives birth, whether normally or by caesarian.
I was told I will be moved to my room! Wonderful! I can’t wait to see Romy! Around 2-4 nurses checked my vital signs, my legs, my bleeding, my temperature. Everything was ok, they gave clearance that I can be wheeled to my room.
It seemed to me to be a very looong hallway. Parang the time to get to my room and be with Romy took forever. As we reached the private room Romy got for us, I can see attendants preparing my bed, and Romy approaching me. I asked him right away how our baby is. He said she’s ok, she’s healthy. He also showed me pictures of Aliya and of me during delivery.
During that time, I was under a lot of painkillers and I felt really really groggy. I was able to sleep after that but I remember my dreams were all filled with Aliya, me going to the nursery and breastfeeding her.
I remember waking Romy up frequently during the night to ask for ice chips. My throat was super dry and I was only allowed ice chips. I never appreciated ice chips more than that day at the hospital! They’re like the ultimate comfort food!
I woke up craving for ice chips again. Nurses started checking on me.
Dr Gonzaga came to see me and check on my tahi. He said all is well and that I can go home in two days!!! Oohlala! 2 days lang ako sa hospital and I can go home with Aliya na! So thankful to God, I know it was His hand controlling and blessing us talaga.
Mama (who went home the night before after I gave birth and after she saw Aliya) and Papa arrived. They congratulated me and I can see pride and happiness in their eyes! Mareng Jacque Tan came, she’s my first visitor and she brought a Red Ribbon Cake! Too bad I was only allowed ice chips, and more ice chips. Romy’s sister Ate Thelma, her husband Kuya Ed and son John-John came next. Visitors started coming, text messages from friends, churchmates, relatives, former classmates were nonstop, too. My sister Belle went straight to see me right after work.
I was given a sponge bath and I felt really better. Though looking back, I was so bangag then! Romy asked me to proofread info for Aliya’s birth certificate and it was so hard for me to concentrate on the words.
Sept 6, 830am
Dr Gonzaga checked on me again and said my stitches are fine. He’ll issue my release for the next day. My catheter was removed and I was assisted by Romy and a nurse in getting up and out of bed. It was my first time to get up and I felt really dizzy… and my stitches were super painful, too! I was also able to stand, sit on a chair, pee in the CR, and visit Aliya in the nursery for the first time! It was a momentous event! I was ushered to the Breastfeeding Station and started to, well, attempted to breastfeed! I have never held a baby all my life that’s why these moments re just so special, and uhm, scary!
Sept 7, 900am
I went to the nursery to breastfeed and bond with Aliya. She’s so cute and she tries hard to feed from me. Watching her cheeks move and open her eyes a bit to look at me is heavenly!
The lactation consultant also gave me tips on how to breastfeed and taught us how to bathe an infant. Our dear friend Francis (Dy), who was visiting then, was able to witness Aliya’s first time to bathe with us.
After bathing, we didn’t return her to the nursery anymore. We roomed her in already as we are to check out that afternoon.
We checked out after a lot of paperwork. Whew! Filing the SSS, Philhealth and other papers were indeed tasking, especially for Romy who did all the legwork.
Arrived my parents house. And for the first time, it dawned on me… ohmigosh, there’s a baby in the house! My baby! Halleluiah! Praise be to God! Aliya is an answered prayer, a blessing, a gift.