After careful thought I decided that I wanted to skip the epidural, yes, I was willing to experience labor and all its agonizing glory. I mentally and physically prepared myself for the contractions, I made sure to walk daily, I did birthing exercises, and my O.B. even asked me to start taking Evening Primrose Oil on my 36th week.
I successfully reached my 37th week with no complications. That was it, my baby was full term and even if I ended up delivering prior to my due date it would be fine. I was excited and almost every possible scenario of how I was to give birth crossed my mind, all except what actually happened
I was set for a check up with my O.B. who holds a clinic in Patients First at Glorietta every Sunday evening . As usual we were at Glorietta by 4 pm, anticipating the long line for my O.B, and to no surprise I was still 8th in line despite getting there early. By 6 pm it was still far from my turn, so Jim and I decided that it would be best for him to start shopping without me. Although it would be my first time to be alone at a check up, I wasn't worried since I was feeling okay and I was already at ease with my OB. After an hour or so it was finally my turn. After an Internal Exam, Dra. predicted that I would give birth any time the following week, so she already gave me instructions on what signs to look out for and even gave me a piece of paper with her admission instructions just in case I would need to be rushed to the hospital and she wasn't there yet. She gave me another prescription for Evening Primrose Oil and that was the end of the first half of my checkup..It's part of my O.B's routine to check the heartbeat of my baby every check up via ultrasound.
As she checked the baby's heartbeat everything seemed to be normal, until she noticed that my amniotic fluid level was extremely low. She then instructed me to contact Jim and ask him to return to Patient First so that we could discuss what had to be done. As I waited for Jim at the hallway, my heart was racing. Everyone said that when your water breaks you'd know, well I didn't. Yes, I knew I could give birth any time and that there's always a risk of having a C-section, but for some reason having a C-section was something that I didn't feel the need to prepare for. I was successful at holding the tears back until I saw Jim and I started to tell him what happened. He consoled me and we waited patiently until we were called back into my O.B.s clinic. She gave us instructions on what to do next.
We went home to have dinner and pick up our hospital bag and headed straight to Parañaque Doctors. My doctor had already phoned and provided instructions to the attending OB GYN at the ER. I was sent to the labor room and there they strapped a fetal heart rate monitor on my tummy and induced me. My OB wanted to give normal delivery a fair shot, so they would closely monitor my baby’s heart beat with every contraction to see if he could handle me going through labor. I was nervous, but I was thankful that like me, my baby was a fighter. After an hour, they examined me to find out that my cervix has not opened even 1 cm. A few minutes later, my O.B. arrived and even before she said it I already called it. I told her that I understood that even if my baby could handle the contractions right now, I was nowhere near labor and that the risk of him strangling on his cord gets higher the longer I postpone the delivery. They called Jim in and notified him that I was going to undergo a C-section. He held my hand and told me to be strong, and I started getting teary eyed when he left.
I think that was the hardest part of delivering via C-section, the fact that you go through the process alone. I was wheeled in the operating room, and as I was being prepped for surgery I felt like I was in “Grey’s Anatomy” while the nurse started writing my name and stats on the white board. I was listening intently as the anaesthesiologist was explaining to me what I should expect from the anaesthesia and during the operation. She said that it was not supposed to make me sleepy, but maybe because it was already 2 am I felt my eyelids getting heavy. I was in and out of sleep during the surgery and before I knew it I heard my baby crying. For some reason I couldn’t help myself but say “aww” upon hearing his voice. They carried him beside me for pictures, and latched him onto me for a few minutes and then they brought him to the NICU. He had to be put under observation in the NICU because I experienced recurring UTI during my pregnancy and there is a chance that he may have been infected, but thankfully after 24 hrs he was roomed in as everything was okay.
A lot of people were surprised by the fact that as soon as the anaesthesia wore off I started sitting up straight and a just a few hours later I was already on my feet. I guess it was because I witnessed what a fighter my son was and that energized me to fight through the pain of my stitches just so I could carry him and so that I could visit him in the nursery every 3 hrs to breastfeed. There’s a different strength that overcomes you once you hold your child in your arms.
It’s been 4 months since that day, but until this very day I still recall some of the details vividly. I guess you can never forget the day that changes your life forever.