As we came nearer to our due dates
A lot of question came in, like where to give birth? Should I prepare for CS? Who would look after me? And the likes. In my case, it was a very different story. We were not that stable to choose freely since we really had a lot to consider. First, financial matters. We both didn’t have a stable job, though we had some savings, we were afraid that if we chose a private hospital, it would drain us.
If we chose a public hospital
it might traumatize us. If we choose a lying-in, it would be not as sure as the hospital
(if emergency CS, they need to rush us to the nearest hospital). Lastly, we didn’t have a family near us. My family side has always been always abroad while Rene’s family is in Cotabato, Mindanao. Rene wanted to go back to Cotabato and give birth there to get us some help and support especially in handling a newborn. We imagined ourselves here in our condo, though we could probably make it work, it would be harder for us to maintain the cleanliness, cook, take care of myself and a newborn baby. After so much thinking and talking with Rene, we decided to come home in September 2016. My due date was around last week of October. We went to our Dra. Datu to get
some travel clearance and told her our plans. We packed our bags, bought pasalubong and headed off to Cotabato.
As soon as we settled in
we looked for our next OBgyne. We found Dr. Arumpac and we were there for our checkup every week. They have 2 good hospitals in Cotabato, one is named Notre Dame Hopsital, a private hospital, and Cotabato Regional and Medical Hospital, a government hospital. I asked my OBgyne where she would be comfortable helping deliver naturally (this was as planned) and she opted the latter. CRMC is a government hospital but it was developed and you can choose to have your own room too. After research, everyone was telling us that CRMC is the best because, although they are a government hospital, their machines and facilities were much more updated than Notre Dame October 22, 2016, around 4am, I woke up from cramps. I thought it was the normal Braxton Hicks, so I tried to sleep again. Then I remember my doctor telling me that once the contractions are 5 minutes apart and I couldn’t sleep anymore, it means that you are going to give birth. It was like that ,that I decided to wake Rene. Rene quickly made me hot bath, prepared our things and sat there waiting for me to ask him to do anything. I enjoyed my last bath. Sometimes pausing in pain because of the cramp. My water broke but I saw pinkish discharge in my underwear. I thought it was normal. Around 6am, I finally sat and took my time to apply my makeup, para maganda pag-ire! HAHAHA.
Sisters of Rene started waking up
and seeing us up and alive that hour made them think “manganganak kana?” I said opo. They were all excited and wanted to take part of my delivery! They drove us to CRMC, then an attendant had me wheelchair-assissted since there were times that I couldn’t move because of pain.
We went inside the delivery room. I must tell you, it was not a NICE PLACE TO GIVE BIRTH. There were pregnant women, wearing malong, walking all over the place. The labour room was clammed with just 5 beds and I could see 8 pregnant women inside. I called my OBGYNE but she wasn’t available. I felt so afraid. The staff were not friendly too. They took me to a room to have my cervix checked, and around 7am I was already 4cm. The assistant kept calling another OBgyne and none was available except Dr. Remedios. She arrived around 9am and talked to me, asking my birth plan. I asked if I could get an epidural.
They had me internally examined again
and told me that I have partial placenta previa and.I am already 6cm. I could not believe it since my OBgyne never told me that I had it. I never saw this coming. My partner was called and told us that we need to have a CS since if we continued with a normal birth, I would experience continuous bleeding since the placenta would be the first to go out. Rene was shocked but he kept his calm, as usual. While I was sitting on the birthing chair thinking “this could not be happening”, the doctor explained the complications it might bring if we continued to have a normal birth and if we agreed to continue, we
would put the baby at risk and we needed to sign a waiver stating that we are fully aware of the consequences. Right in that moment, still vivid to me, I was looking at my partner and Rene asked me what I wanted to do. He thought that the doctor was just trying to make it a business and he believed that I could go on with the normal delivery since at 9am, I was already 6cm dilated. It took like 5 minutes and I decided to just go to operation, I did not want to risk my baby, though I really didn’t want to, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
When I was asked to be lied down in a movable bed
then they injected me with something, THEY NEVER TOLD ME WHAT IT IS but right after, I felt dizzy and my contractions started to become closer and stronger while I was there alone, sweating cold. From time to time, I was asked if I was alright by my anesthesiologist and OBGYNE, I said yes but deep inside, I felt that if I became “mataray” or complained, they would do something that I wouldn’t like to me or my baby. It was so scary, being in an unfamiliar place, just knowing your OBGYNE for an hour? I was wheeled to the operating room where I was asked to a position for the epidural/anesthesia to be injected to, like, laid down on the side and curved. After that injection, it FELT SO NICE. The pain was gone but it got scarier, knowing that you were there unable to do anything and couldn’t feel your lower part in a cold room, then I couldn’t see anyone since they were busy cutting you up. I can still remember that time when I heard the baby cried. First thing I asked was “MAPUTI PO BA?” Hahaha. They answered me“hindi masyado”, showed me my baby for 3 seconds, and started feeling dizzy, and knowing that my baby was safe, I let sleep win me over. The next thing I remember, I woke up together with other people and I shouted “SAAN ANG BABY KO?” The nurse told me “Ma’am hinahon lang po, nandito po”. They called Rene and Rene was already holding my baby boy. The next thing was they instructed Rene to make Inigo suck my boobies! HE SUCKED REALLY WELL, I knew from the first time he sucked my breasts, that we would have a wonderful breastfeeding journey. We were wheeled out of that area (I don’t know what it was called) and we were transferred to a private room. I had a sigh of relief knowing that my baby was going to stay with us in the room too!
We stayed for 3 days in that room
We enjoyed our stay because we were so grateful that our
baby was safe though he had a cord coil inside my tummy. The pain was bearable, but I had no
obvious milk coming from my boob. I was so paranoid, thinking that if I push breastfeeding even
though knowing I didn’t have milk, it would be selfish for my baby and might have a drastic effect on
him. I kept pushing. My sister-in-law was very supportive of my journey that she sent me a box of
Moringgana and she cooked soup with lots of malunggay leaves every day.
I drank 6 Moringgana capsules a day hoping it would help my milk production be faster. Until the 3 rd day, Inigo was crying so much that I thought it was because he was not getting anything from me. He might be hungry. I asked Rene to buy formula and the nurse are telling us that Inigo needs it. If he didn’t get sugar, he would have Hypoglycemia. Some of the signs include, restlessness/irritability, which I thought he was already showing and every time I pressed my boobs, there was no liquid coming out. Stress and pressure to produce milk made me not produce milk, I guess? We bottlefed him around 1oz every time he cried. After finishing the bottle, I still nursed him to stimulate production ofmilk. We continued this until after giving him total of 4oz, I suddenly saw milk! I SAW MILK coming out of my boobs! What a relief! We were discharged. Rene went out to arrange everything while Inigo and I enjoyed our last moments alone.
If you are in the same position as I was, PLEASE DECIDE EARLY so you can have more time to choose the best hospital and doctor to the foreign place you are going to. I don’t regret what happened, but I am sure that if only I knew this would happen, I would’ve changed the approach. Never feel bad for opting for CS rather than natural birth. At first months, I was feeling inadequate because I was not successful delivering my son via Normal, I kept telling myself that maybe if I did not ask for an epidural and went on with it, I will be delivering him normally. It haunted me during the stage where my hormones were fluctuating until I convinced myself that though CS is
harder in may part because of the surgery, at least my baby was safe. We are mothers no matter how we delivered our babies.