Here’s how the best day of our lives went. Some details may be TMI (too much information!) but they could serve some of you well. Here goes:
August 21, Friday
8 am. I wake up to do my usual bathroom routine. After peeing, I notice blood on the tissue. I go, “Hmmm…” So I pee again, and yep, there’s a bit of blood alright. But I wasn’t feeling any pain. I walk into the bedroom and tell H, “Hon, there’s blood. I think we have to go to the hospital.” While he gets ready and places our bags in the car, I take a quick shower. I even have a little time to blow-dry my hair, haha. While getting dressed, I feel another gush of blood — good thing I was already wearing a sanitary napkin by that time. Before we head out though, we ask Mama to take one last pic!
One last pic before leaving for the hospital
— our last pic as a pregnant couple!
8.15 am. We leave home and head to the hospital, which is a 30-minute drive away. I pray that there wouldn’t be any traffic jams. I’m feeling hungry and our OB did advise me to get a light snack, so H & I pick up some burgers on the way. Halfway through my burger, I begin feeling mild contractions, which can be likened to menstrual cramps. I start timing contractions.
8.30 am. Still on the road. My water breaks in the car!
9 am. We arrive at the hospital. My dress and shoes are soaked! I’m wheeled to the prep room, and I hand over my information sheet and latest lab tests to the doctor. My contractions are still moderate and 7 minutes apart. After an internal examination, I’m told that I’m 4 cm dilated but the baby is still way high, hardly engaged. I’m not allowed to walk anymore because my bag had already ruptured. I’m hooked up to an IV.
9.30 am. I’m transferred to the labor room. Contractions remain the same, 7 minutes apart, moderate. I’m hooked up to a machine that monitors my contractions and Timmy’s heartbeat. A doctor remains by my side the whole time. The anaesthesiologist arrives. A catheter is inserted into my spine so that he can just inject the epidural through the IV when I ask for it later on. Another doctor arrives for my antibiotics skin test and oooh boy, that injection stings! It hurt even more than the catheter insertion!
11.30 am. Not progressing contractions-wise and I’m still at 4 cm. Baby’s not engaging either. We decide to augment labor so I’m given oxytocin through IV.
12.00 pm. The contractions are strong. REALLY strong. 3-4 mins apart now. I can handle the first few waves of strong contractions, but I feel myself getting weaker with each wave. H joins me in the labor room. I hold on tightly to his hand whenever the strong contractions would make an appearance. He whispers words of encouragement and I feel better.
12.15 pm. Holy crap. The contractions are super strong. I ask for an epidural. It takes effect 45 minutes after it’s given, so oh boy, I had quite a few rounds of contractions that made my legs feel like jello. How I dealt with the pain: squeezing H’s hand, exchanging stories with the doctor monitoring me and the baby, praying the rosary, offering my pain to God, thinking that every contraction brings me closer to meeting Timmy.
1 pm. Another dose of epidural is given as I didn’t feel much relief after the first one. After awhile, I feel so much better. I can still wiggle and feel my toes, and the contractions are easier to bear now. I have a high threshold for pain, but I had a feeling not taking the epidural would do me worse.
1.30pm. H and the medical team gather ’round while my OB does another IE. After awhile he goes, “Makakauwi tayo nang maaga.” (“It looks like we’re all going home early!”) My cervix is dilated at 9 cm and contractions are 3-4 mins apart. The baby has also engaged. My OB tells H, “Get your camera! And change into your scrubs na!” Then to the staff, “DR na!” Delivery room already? I am in a daze while everyone excitedly shuffles about. We were all expecting I’d give birth around 6 pm onwards.
2.00pm. At the delivery room. I’m being taught when and how to push. I also try to remember what we were taught in birth class. We’re also waiting for the baby to descend a little bit more. By this time, I’m already hungry. VERY hungry. My motivation to push? Timmy of course. My other motivation? TO EAT!!! I ask the doctors beside me, “Pwede na ba ako kumain agad after delivering?” (“Can I eat right after delivering?”) They answer I can eat after spending 2 hours at the recovery room. That’s a long time! I don’t even know what time I’ll deliver yet! My tummy grumbles.
2.10pm. I start pushing. The team is fantastic. They’re all saying out loud together “Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale, hold and push! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, exhale slowly… Inhale, hold and push! 1-10, exhale slowly…” I could hear H cheering along too! I rest in between contractions. Since I got an epidural, I couldn’t feel much down there. I didn’t know if I was pushing right, but the doctors assure me everthing’s going well. By the 3rd round of pushing, some doctors help push the baby down also. I hear the doctor say that the head is coming out. I push with all my might.
2.34 pm. Baby Timmy says hello to the world. His APGAR score is 9/10. I’m still lying down on the delivery table, but I can see Timmy being cleaned up while H hovers about with the camera. After a quick clean, Timmy is brought to me to latch, then we share our first picture together. The team congratulates me and I thank them — we all did it together.
Timmy: “I don’t think I’m in Mommy’s womb anymore…”
3.30 pm. Recovery room. I try to get some sleep but the adrenaline of the past hour keeps me wide awake. I close my eyes and say my thanksgiving prayers. I still cannot believe that I had just given birth. When my light snack comes (a piece of chiffon cake and bottled water), I feel so much better too.
5.30pm. I’m transferred to my room. My family is there and we all talk about the birth experience. My Mom comments that I’m quite talkative and strong for someone who just gave birth. I’m not feeling tired at this point. There’s happiness rushing through my veins!
Evening onwards. Timmy’s pediatrician comes to visit and update me on the baby, OB checks in on me. Everything is going well. I devour dinner. And then I get to experience breastfeeding Timmy for the first time ever — it’s an awesome, beautiful experience.
The following days. I get stronger with each day. On my 2nd breastfeeding session with Timmy, I walk to and from the nursery with little assistance. Despite some soreness, I can move about easily. Timmy is my motivation. The walks to the nursery are helping me heal better. By the time Timmy and I are discharged from the hospital, we’re both stronger. I’m a little bit scared about what the next days will bring me, but I believe I can be the best Mom I can be for my baby. My support system is wonderful, and with this beautiful, healthy baby, who wouldn’t want to keep doing her best?
And so this is Timmy’s birth story. This is just the beginning of a new and beautiful journey for H, me and Timmy – my family of three. Such joy!
Thank you for the wonderful wishes everyone! Timmy and I are doing great. I’ve read all your comments, and my heart fills with all the joy you share. Many thanks!