birth story

October 12, 2011

It’s been almost a month so before I forget, I’ll blog the details of our birth story. Warning, this will be long.

On September 13, the due date, we had a doctor’s appointment in the morning to be induced. Our OB considered the due date as a deadline and said we had the option of not being induced but would then have to get frequent ultrasounds to monitor the baby. Each ultrasound costs 2k so we decided to go for the induction. Early that morning though, around 3 or 4AM I woke up due to regular contractions and couldn’t go back to sleep. We took our time getting ready and made sure we had our hospital bags packed and headed to our doctor’s appointment. When the OB did an internal examination, she said I was already at 3cm so she would not proceed with the induction and let me labor naturally. She said we could already be admitted if we wanted to but we chose not to due to the hourly rate/charge at the birthing room of Makati Med. We told her we would walk around first and she agreed but asked us to come back in the afternoon so she can do another exam to see how far along I’ve progressed.

So we left Makati Med and first went to visit CherryKat’s apartment. We then went to cool off at Blenz and then met up with CherryKat for lunch at Max. I wanted to make sure I had a complete meal before we went back to the hospital since you will not be allowed to eat or drink once admitted. After lunch, Renz and I decided to head back home first to shower and change our clothes since we were already sweaty from walking around. I had regular contractions the entire time. They were a bit painful but still bearable. We were back at Makati Med at around 2:30 PM and when the OB did an IE again, she said I was at 4cm. She said I could walk around some more but wanted me to get myself admitted in the Labor and Delivery ward by 5PM to make sure I was properly monitored. So we walked and walked and walked some more all around Makati Med.

At 5PM, we dutifully got ourselves admitted. It was a part of our birthing plan to use the Makati Med birthing room. It costs a lot more than the regular labor rooms but I wanted Renz to be there with me the entire time. I still don’t understand why it is not the normal scenario here in the Philippines to have the father in the labor room with the mother.  Anyway, the birthing room itself was nice and way too spacious.  It was also a part of our birthing plan to try to have an epidural-free birth. We wanted to try and do it naturally without unnecessary medications. Once admitted I got hooked to a fetal monitor that also monitored the contractions. They still came regularly and got a bit more painful. I’ve never felt pain like that actually. I’m not quite sure how to describe the pain anymore but I was in tears and cringing in pain. I really tried not to consider the epidural until a resident came in and said that I was only having minor contractions. I like to think that I have quite a high tolerance for pain but if what I was experiencing were only minor contractions, I knew I would not be able to tolerate the major contractions. After a couple of hours, at 6cm, I decided to go for the epidural. I really felt bad and felt like a failure since my body couldn’t handle the pain but I also could not see myself getting through without anesthesia.

Once the anesthesiologist came in and inserted the epidural in my spine, after a few minutes, I felt nothing. I was so tired from laboring all day, I actually fell asleep. Unfortunately, the epidural relaxed my body so much that I got stuck at 6cm for a few hours. Every hour, a resident would come in the room and do an IE. I started to get scared when they kept saying I was still only at 6cm. I did not want to end up having a cesarean and I knew that I had to progress to 10cm in order to deliver normally. So, once the epidural started to wear off, I didn’t ask for the anesthesiologist right away. I tried to tolerate the pain as much as I could but at a certain point, asked for the epidural again. By 12 midnight, the resident checked and I was at 9cm already! They informed the OB and started preparing for the delivery.

It must’ve been around 1AM when all the doctors and nurses (and their mommas) were in the room staring at my vagina/crotch and they instructed me how to push. They said I should push as if I were pooping. Ok, that should be easy enough to do. Unfortunately, due to the epidural, I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. I had no idea if I were pushing correctly. After a couple of tries, the OB said that the baby was getting stuck and she got a nurse to go on top of me and to push on my stomach at the same time I was supposed to push. There were two other doctors/nurses on both of my sides pushing my stomach. Ouch. I couldn’t breathe and I was definitely starting to panic about the baby. After several more pushes, the baby finally came out.  I felt extremely relieved that they would finally stop pushing my stomach as if they were all kneading dough.  The OB remembered our wish for Renz to be able to cut the umbilical cord himself and after that they hurriedly passed the baby onto a team of doctors that cleaned him up and did the necessary check ups.

I didn’t hear any crying and started to worry about the baby. Fortunately, after maybe a minute or so, I heard the sound of a baby crying. The OB said that the umbilical cord was extremely long and was actually wrapped around the neck of the baby twice. I didn’t feel the baby coming out and a part of me still can’t believe that I was able to deliver a baby through a 10cm hole. I’m sure it would’ve felt more real and probably more amazing if I did manage to do it epidural-free. Oh well. The human body is a wonderful mystery.

So, that’s our birth story. On September 14, 2011 at 1:50AM, our 6lbs & 7 ozs baby boy was born and I was no longer buntis.