Friday, February 12, 2021

My Birthing Story

A few months ago, I shared about being pregnant and how excited my husband and I are for our little bundle of joy. Five months later, I've finally given birth at 39 weeks and 3 days. 

As I type this, my baby girl is already 12 days old. To tell you the truth, this whole process still feels surreal sometimes. I find myself staring at her and thinking, "am I really a mom now?" The journey getting here was long - I mean, I spent my entire pregnancy in lock down. No going to malls or dining in restaurants. I couldn't go out and meet with friends like before. No shopping at physical stores so everything I'm using now, I've either borrowed from my sisters-in-law or bought online. I guess that's a good thing since babies really only wear the same clothes for a few weeks before they can't fit into them anymore. Honestly, I can't shouldn't complain, because being stuck at home served me well. I really got to maximize and enjoy a lot of me time. I got to work out for a few months before we found out I was pregnant, after that, it was pretty much me, Netflix, and my growing belly.
Giving birth is an amazing roller-coaster ride of an experience. I mean, imagine being able to bring life into this world!! From carrying the baby in your belly for 9 whole months (the morning sickness and the random food cravings, the visits to the OB-GYN plus the numerous internal exams) to eventually having to push out an actual baby / getting it pulled out of you via EMERGENCY CS, to breastfeeding and nursing your stitches at the same time to sleepless nights for months and months on end. It's a process, alright. And it doesn't stop. It WILL NOT stop. It's not like you can press pause and take a breather from taking care of your little one. You can't. 
Men need to realize how difficult women have it and learn to appreciate them a lot more. Providing physical and emotional support after delivery is crucial - without it, the woman is going to break down and cry (again and again, I might add). Take my word for it, I say this from experience. It's no fun doing all this alone. Please, support your partners.
Since I was due to give birth on February 5, Tim and I decided to visit the OB weekly starting January. Each check-up went well, with our doctor telling us our baby's heart rate was good and her amniotic fluid, okay. Come our 39th week, the OB started having me practice my breathing and pushing out the baby. My first try went well; for some reason, when we came back the following week, I couldn't do it properly anymore. This caused our OB to worry. She began talking about inducing labor before my 40th week to avoid giving the baby more time to grow (therefore making it more difficult for me to do a normal delivery). That very same day, she pulled out my mucus plug. When we left her clinic, I was already 3cm dilated. I wasn't ready! Neither was my husband; he didn't even get tested for COVID yet! I, on the other hand, got tested the week before since my results were valid for two weeks, while his was just valid for one. Not sure why this is the case.. we were taking the same test, weren't we?

Luckily, his results came back negative, so we headed to the OB the day after. Still 3cm! I guess it was mainly because I refused to walk around and do squats until I was certain Tim could enter the delivery room with me (a negative PCR test is required for this). As a last resort - on my end, at least - the OB prescribed for me to take Evening Primrose Oil then told me to prepare to be admitted the following day. And so I did. True enough, when we came for our checkup at 3pm that Thursday, I was already 4cm dilated. Pwede na.

When we got home, we packed our bags in the car, had merienda, and showered (my last in a while so I made sure to savor it). By 7:30pm, we were already at the hospital. My OB instructed us to head straight to the Delivery Room (DR), she already had me fill out hospital forms weeks prior, so all we had to do was submit it there. They placed me inside a small room to observe the baby's heart rate and monitor her movements. An hour later, I was ushered to the Labor Room. Tim had to wait outside as he was only allowed to be in the DR when it was time to pull out the baby. The labor room was initially pretty quiet (it had just been cleaned so all the other patients were in other rooms). Soon, it got busier - nurses and doctors going in and out, numerous tests and meds being administered. There was even a woman who started moaning and kept saying her baby's about to come out! Nastress ako doon. Haha!

Once I was 5cm dilated, I already started feeling the contractions (feels like dysmenorrhea / menstrual cramps). The pain was tolerable at first, but by 6cm, I couldn't bear it anymore and decided to request for the epidural. The internal exam didn't help either. I kept thinking, "Grabe, ang galing ng mga nanay!! We really don't appreciate our moms enough."

After about 20 minutes, the epidural started kicking in. My legs felt numb. It didn't matter how many more internal exams my OB did because I no longer felt pain. You could feel someone digging around your insides, but it didn't hurt anymore. (I wish she waited for the epidural before breaking my water bag, that was cray) At this point, my mindset was "final stretch, let's do this!!!" but God had other plans.

It was already past midnight and I was 8cm dilated. My OB has been doing more frequent internal exams and kept having me push the baby out. Inhale... Hold your breath... Push.. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Good. Relax..

Kaya na eh, di ba? I really thought I could do a normal delivery. But then my OB finally tells me the reason for all the internal exams and why she's been beside me the entire night. Apparently, the baby's heart goes down every time I try to push her out. "Baka kailangan natin i-CS ha.

"Okay." That was all I could say at that point. Okay lang naman talaga. It's not like I wear bikinis anyway, you know? No one other than my husband is going to see that scar. All I wanted was for the baby to be okay. 

The next thing I knew, I was being rushed to the DR. There were more people there compared to when the anaesthesiologist applied the epidural. They removed my gown, attached a catheter, covered me neck down so I couldn't see anything. I fell asleep with tears in my eyes. 😅

When I woke up, Tim was holding my hand. I also heard our pedia talking and attempting to latch my baby to me for the very first time. My first words upon waking up? "Maganda ba? Kamukha ko?" According to them, she looks like Tim. How unfair!! Hahaha. But really, I'm just glad to finally have her and hold her and be a mom to her. 
The following day, my OB dropped by my room to see how I was doing. She checked my stitches then replaced the dressing to make sure it is clean and that no infection will occur. Before leaving, she asked me to look up endometriosis. Why? Because I have it. So I did and according to, "Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that forms the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterine cavity. " It is a common gynecological condition, affecting up to 10 percent of women. 

This tissue trapped in your pelvis can cause the following: irritation; scar formation; adhesions, in which tissue binds your pelvic organs together; severe pain during your periods; and fertility problems. My OB said we're lucky to have been able to conceive at all. So, so thankful.
It's been a hella tiring two weeks so far, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you, Baby Hope.