Sunday, September 06, 2015

My Birthing Story - Bess Aguinaldo

37 weeks - that’s how long my baby had been in the tummy. My OB said that I could give birth any time but generally firstborns stay until  39-40 weeks in the tummy. And so, great! I have 2-3 more weeks before  we welcome our little bundle of joy. Being the usual busy bee, I attended branch visit during the weekend, engaged in field ministry,  went to work on a Monday and even pushed the grocery cart in the supermarket after work while waiting for hubby to arrive. There’s even an itinerary planned for the weekend.

 As we were about to go to sleep at 10PM of April 27, I noticed a  slight brownish mucus discharge. I remembered my OB’s words as she  mentioned that this kind of discharge is one of the early signs of labor. “Oh dear, this must be it!” I thought. I made calls to my mom and to the OB and hubby and I prepared the bags to be brought to the hospital.

 Fast forward to 1 AM of April 28. As per OB’s advice, my husband drove me to the hospital. I was checked and got advice to be admitted since I was already experiencing mild contractions, undergoing labor and was at 2cm. They strapped me in, checked my vital stats, and observed the  monitor that calibrated my contractions with percentage and baby’s  heartbeat. But I did not feel anything at all. I was even chatting, walking and dancing (yes!) with hubby in the labor room. I slept and woke up in the morning, still not feeling any pain at all.

 At 4 PM of April 28, I started to feel it. So this is what they call contractions, the one I’ve read from books and researched from Google to real-life experiences. Nurses asked me how I feel and I said “Oh, slight dysmenorrhea.” It was like a wavelike motion that move downwards. Mind you, it is bearable. Cervix had dilated for 6cm and I was asked to rate the pain from 1 to 10 (10 being the most painful) and I said “4”.

 At 8PM, I was advised to undergo epidural treatment, not because I felt extreme pain but because it had to be administered at a time when pain is still bearable. Asian Hospital is patient-friendly and allows companion from the labor room to the birthing room. As I was about to receive the epidural treatment, my mom and sister-in-law just arrived and with a big smile, I even said “Hello Mommy! Ate Rhy, hello!” Contrary to stories I’ve heard about the long needle and the pain, my epidural experience is not painful at all. I was like “That’s it?” and the anesthesiologist smiled at me.

After the epidural treatment, I was at 10cm and was transferred to the birthing/delivery room. My OB allowed the anesthesia to slowly wear off so I could feel the contractions. This helped me to push naturally. During this time, a proper breathing exercise was instructed to me so I can do the process properly. This ‘pushing stage’ was the most challenging for me yet the most empowering. A positive mindset really helped to be able to overcome this stage of labor. I remembered that I was even saying to my OB (yes, talking during labor) that giving birth was one of my greatest fears and I couldn’t believe I was there. Also, there was a time when I was pushing really hard and I pulled the arms of an anesthesiologist and a nurse at the same time. I said sorry and they said “That’s the right thing to do! Go, pull!” and we all laughed. The whole medical team was very positive and was cheering for me. Yes, childbirth is a really team effort. My loving husband, who was with me from the labor room until I gave birth, was an inspiration and I will never forget all his affectionate yet nervous cheers every time I pushed. And so after 2.5 hours (and countless sets of pushes), at 10:30PM of April 28, I gave birth to a healthy boy, Regan Bryce, via normal delivery.

 We later found out that labor took some time because he was cord-coiled both around his neck and body. But with the presence of 3 factors - continuous pushing, baby’s heartbeat not dropping and a great, expert and very patient OB, this was addressed. My heart still beats with joy and excitement as I remember this birthing story. During the ‘Unang Yakap’ or First Embrace, baby was given to me and placed on my chest. I cannot explain that wonderful feeling as I stared at him, listened to his cry and felt the warmth of his body.  As I thank my husband, my supportive family and friends, all the nurses and doctors, my OB (Dra. Leonila Estole-Casanova); I couldn’t help but marvel at how breathtaking this experience had been. And above all, I thank Jehovah God for the wonderful gift of life. Truly a treasure I vow to take care of.

At the delivery room - fully dilated and (nervously) smiling before the pushing :p

Unang Yakap - such a priceless moment!

That first cry - music to our ears

Baby's Bassinet - where baby slept while roomed in with us

Hello there, little one!

Sleeping cutie

Looking at Mommy

The best partner and the best dad :)

Loot bag for baby - Thanks Asian Hospital for the comfortable stay.