Hi there, everyone! Feels like it’s been ages since I updated this blog! I was quite busy and so anxious and tense thinking about my labor and delivery, not to mention the several prenatal check ups and the last minute ultrasound tests I had to undergo, that I wasn’t able to compose a blog worthy of your time
Now that I’m home and while my 1 week old baby boy is sound asleep, I finally have time to write again..thank God. And what’s the better way to start this blog rolling again than sharing to you my labor and delivery story? Relax and read on
The bloody show began in the morning of May 11, a day before my expected date of delivery (EDD). There were no contractions yet, so I took time in taking a bath and eating breakfast before calling my sister-in-law to go with me to the hospital. My cervical dilation was just 1 cm so the doctor advised me to go home and relax and to return when contractions begin.
On May 12, at about 8PM, the contractions began but they were about 10 minutes apart and were not so strong, so I knew that it would take hours before actual labor begins. I put Elijah to sleep after telling him that Mommy might not be around in the morning when he wakes up because I need to go to the hospital to ask for the doctor’s help in getting baby brother out of my tummy. He said “ok” and went to sleep.
It was just the three of us at my parent’s place: Elijah, me, and my parent’s helper whom I don’t trust to watch over my son. My husband is onboard; his parents are living hours away from the city. I decided to leave our home one week before my due date because we are living 2 hours away from the city while my parent’s place is only a few minutes away from the AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital where I was scheduled to give birth. My mom and two siblings were in Davao for a vacation and my own helper went to her hometown to vote and was scheduled to come back the next day. My sister-in-law also went to her home province to vote and would not be coming back until the next day. Another sister-in-law is living within the city but her 1-year old daughter was sick and her helper also went home to vote. It seemed like the worst timing for my labor to begin but I trust that God’s time is always the best time and I knew in my heart that He will make everything right.
While the contractions were coming, I changed into my “coming to the hospital outfit“, which I’ve already chose and prepared several days ago. I was starving by then because the last meal I ate was at 2 PM that afternoon and I couldn’t eat dinner because I felt so uncomfortable eating while in pain. At 11 PM, I requested my mom’s helper to get me a taxi and called on our neighbor/family friend to watch over Elijah while he’s asleep. My sister-in-law (the one who’s staying within the city and whose child was sick) already assured me that she would pick up Elijah in the morning and watch over him until I get out of the hospital. With no one to accompany me, I was already planning to go to the hospital alone, but God always has a better plan . Another neighbor (and also a good family friend) who’s son had a fever volunteered to bring me to the hospital and left her son in the care of her sister. Praise God for this neighbor and friend because she’s fun and comfortable to be with and she’s a mom of four and not new to labor and delivery scenarios.
The doctor examined me and informed me that my dilation was at 2 cm. I asked if I could go home since my parents’ place is just a few minutes away. The doctor said I could after the baby’s movement and heart beat were checked and the results were good. She instructed me to return if the contractions are coming closer and stronger. She also mentioned the possibility of induced labor if my dilation would not improve by the next day because I was already on my 39th week.
I went home and tried to fall asleep but the pain wouldn’t allow me. I couldn’t even take a nap. The phrase “induced labor” was nagging me and brought back memories of 7 hours of painful and tearful labor with Elijah. I knew how painful inducement is and I kept on praying that I wouldn’t be induced this time and that my labor would be quicker.
By 3 AM, the contractions were coming closer and stronger. The same neighbor who brought me earlier to the hospital accompanied me all the way to the emergency room. My dilation was checked by a male hospital staff, and I was so conscious lying there and being probed by a male stranger. It was something I haven’t experienced with my first delivery, and I couldn’t help thinking, “the scene of total humiliation begins“.
I was already at 4-5 cm by 5 AM and was moaning in pain. I am grateful that the staff of AMOSUP Seamen’s Hospital didn’t bring me to the labor room where I’d be suffering in pain alone. Instead, they let me stay in one of the OB wards. The big ward was empty except for another woman who was scheduled for CS the next day. When I was in pain and about to give birth to Elijah in another private hospital, they put me in a labor room and wouldn’t let anyone see and comfort me. Thank God, the AMOSUP staff let me stay in that OB ward with my companion/coach who kept saying words of comfort to ease the pain.
Later on, my coach fell asleep in a nearby bed due to exhaustion (she haven’t slept the entire night) while I was writhing in pain in another bed. The entire time, I welcomed the contractions knowing that each pain brought me closer to delivering my son. I couldn’t remember how many comforting Bible verses I’ve recited in my mind the whole time that the contractions were coming. It was the only way to take my mind off the anxiety and pain; it was either that or curse my husband and swear not to get pregnant again while punching the wall. I chose the dignified and “biblical” way.
I think it helped a lot that whenever I moan in pain, the same male hospital staff who examined my cervical dilation earlier came to me and told me words of comfort. He assured me that my labor was in progress and that I would give birth soon. He even made me laugh in the middle of pain by telling me that as long as I know how to push, I’ll be alright. Thank God for that kind man; he’s an angel.
My dilation progressed to 7 cm and the hospital staff prepared me for my grand entrance to the delivery room. I was shaved and sterilized in the labor room just outside the delivery room. It’s amazing how I couldn’t remember feeling a bit shy from being totally exposed in a roomful of strangers. I kept telling everyone to hurry because I felt that the baby’s coming out. They keep telling me not to push until I’m told to do so, they even told me to breath through my mouth to avoid the urge to push..a difficult feat for someone who just want to push with all her might and get the delivery done.
The wall clock inside the delivery room told me that it was 6:30 in the morning when I entered. I looked at the delivery table and its trappings and couldn’t help thinking “this is it“. The whole routine was already familiar.. being propped in the delivery table like a frog who’s about to be dissected, the sterilization process, the organized chaos around me. What I didn’t expect was the attitude of the staff and the doctors. They were jolly, talkative, and encouraging. It was the Election Day and they kept jesting that I should give birth by 7:30 AM because they need to go and vote. Some are coaching me as to when and how to push, and one particular gay member of the staff volunteered to be my main coach. He kept combing my hair with his fingers, told me to relax, taught me how to breath properly, and told me not to open my mouth while pushing. They were all taking turns to tell me “kaya mo ‘yan, Mommy” and “go Mommy go“.
I was told to push at the peak of my contraction and I was very determined and prepared to do so but sleeplessness and hunger got in the way. I haven’t slept the entire night due to contractions and the last time I ate was about 2 PM the previous day. I was so exhausted to push and for a moment there, when I closed my eyes, I felt like half of my mind was asleep while the other half was trying hard to listen to and follow my coaches.
Several painful contractions came and went and my attempts to push was just too feeble despite the help of four members of the staff who helped me into a half sitting position and held my back at the peak of each contraction. I was just too weak and exhausted to push; I just wanted to go to sleep. The part of my mind that was still awake kept on praying to God for strength and asked Him to hold me and help me push.
God is indeed faithful and loving because I finally had the strength to go on with the delivery process. I pushed at the peak of a contraction and the people around me cheered and encouraged me to keep pushing because they could already see my baby’s head. Hearing about the head gave me more strength and I kept pushing until I felt like I couldn’t stop until my baby was fully delivered.
At 7:10 in the morning of May 13, my second son finally saw the world. Hearing my baby’s lusty cry was the sweetest sound I’ve heard; the feel of him over my chest was the sweetest moment I’ve had. The moment I saw my son, the pain of labor and delivery became a distant memory.
To God be the glory!