Where the raindrops as they're falling tell a story...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Xian's birth

I was on my 38th week of gestation and couldn't imagine waking up the next day still pregnant. I gained 40 lbs in this pregnancy, way overweight. Good thing I'm healthy and the baby's healthy, complications should be rare.

I was already getting more and more impatient. On my 35th week, I noticed reduced fetal movement. I drove myself up to the hospital emergency room for a non-stress test. This, upon the prodding of my husband who was out of town at that moment. Of course, after my telling him of my concern and worry. Getting inside the labor room, the usual "Di pa diay ka due?!" surprise looks from the people around no longer surprised me. I was a whale, it was understandable.

36 weeks and nothing happened. 37 weeks, I started planning to attend my daughter's school's family day which is to happen the week after. I bought 2 kgs of chicken wing, marinated a day before and instructed the yaya to cook them crisp early the next day.

November 26 was my brother-in-law's birthday and Christening of his firstborn. I was ninang, in all my bloated glory. When my husband reviewed the pictures, he told me "kaanakon na kaayo ka'g nawong!" Must be the flared up nostrils. That night on our way home, I drove the car from Ayala to our house because the husband has to ride his bike home from his office. Yes, I still fit in the driver's seat but barely.
I didn't get much sleep during the night. Not the usual uneasiness brought about by the uncanny physique of a pregnant woman. It was different. I kept on waking up through the night for bathroom trips I lost count. I woke up at 5:00 am that Sunday. The Sunday that we are to attend my daughter's school's family day. I felt the contractions but dared not wake up my husband and daughter. I wanted them to get all the sleep they can since family day's gonna be tiring. I started timing my contractions using a trial iPod app. The intervals are already consistent and the intensity varied from moderate to very painful.

At 6:30 am, I woke up my husband and told him about the contractions. I even considered going to the family day thinking the baby won't be out that soon anyway, judging from my first experience. When my face started to contort during contractions, my husband grew uneasy and unsure about my suggestion. We ended up sending our daughter to the event only to perform their field demo accompanied by her aunt and nanny. They went back home right after.

It was 9:00 am when we finally went to the hospital to get admitted. I calmly walked to the IE room, that being not my first. I was surprised when the resident said I'm 6.8 dilated. I was amazed at how fast it progressed. My doctor, at this time, has been notified.

You might be surprised on how composed and calm I was when I got in. It was because I did all my research and had a birth plan in place. The birth plan that my doctor and the pedia fully supported. I wanted a natural, painkiller-free delivery and requested to room in with the baby right after. I wanted to establish breastfeeding right away and I felt that being groggy from all the painkillers would not help with my goal. I also knew that I have a big baby, and knew that I can still deliver him vaginally. In the slim chance that I can't I have outlined that as well in my birth plan. Everything is progressing as planned.
6 CM is the start of active labor. The pain is becoming more and more intense and came in closer intervals. Still I hang on. Natural all the way! At 8 CM, my doctor arrived. I was on my side the whole time since I discovered I can manage the pain better with that position. I brought a handheld massager to help ease the pain when contractions come. My doctor was a total darling. She massaged me everytime the contractions came and talked me through it. Deep breathing became more and more difficult. I kept on telling the baby to work with me, that we're a team.

My water burst when I was fully dilated, it was 11:00 am. All I wanted to do by then was bear down as I felt the baby bore down inside me. I helped myself into the wheelchair that's to transport me to the delivery room. When I got there, I notice there's a staircase by the delivery table. I did not notice that the first time! And because all I wanted to do was bear down and deliver, I climbed up to the surprise of the medical staff. Hoisted myself up and got ready.

All the fuss and noise inside the delivery room faded and I focused on the voice of my doctor. When my doctor said push, I gathered all of what's left and pushed. Believe it, I got Xian out in one push, all 8 lbs 11 ounces of him! The shape of his head is a testament to that.

As soon as the baby was out, he was placed in my breast and was guided to latch on. He didn't. I wasn't worried, all I can think of is how red and wrinkly my baby was. And even if he resembled so much like E.T., he was the most beautiful thing in the world. The feeling of finally being able to meet and hold him was exhilirating. Overwhelmed by so much joy, I ignored the latching issue. Maybe he wasn't really that hungry. I did ate a lot for the whole duration of that pregnancy.

After a while, the nurses gave up on working out the latch and cleaned him up, took his Apgar score. He got a whooping 9.10, how about that? He wailed like he owned the whole unit. It was a joy to hear! He was placed in the nursery while I was stitched up but that was all the nursery time he had. At the recovery room, he was brought to me. He latched on without so much of a fuss. He slept in my arms for the first time and I was wide awake enjoying and relishing every single moment.

We went to our room together. He was a bit jaundiced but all in all, I counldn't wish for a more perfect birth and I was wide awake to experience it all.

This Xian is a trooper, that I can be sure of.


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