I finally got a chance to write a blog entry. This, while uploading files for my client on oDesk, babysitting, and browsing over an Emily Giffin novel. And these, I am only able to do more than 2 months after I gave birth.
I really don’t know where to start telling what happened. Parang kahapon lang malaki pa ang tyan ko and its December, where I almost spent Noche Buena frustrated that my package of longganisa didn’t arrive on time. I was homesick and nilambing ko si Mommy na magpadala ng longganisang Imus. Yun na lang yung pa-Pasko niya sa ‘kin. It was 6 in the evening when the package arrived. The LBC guy should’ve been doomed had I been the one to receive the package. I was preparing my speech in a fit of rage. Buti na lang I was busy cooking
the spaghetti, Mr. H got the box. I called back home in Cavite, just to confirm to them that I’ve received the package, along with a few groceries from Tita Mely, loose t-shirts, sleeveless shirts and a daster I’ve requested. Hearing my aunts’ voices and greeting Daddy and Mommy a Merry Christmas — it just made me miss them more…
New Year was no different. It was only Mr. H and me at the apartment. Mark, our stay-in staff and all-around utility went to visit his brother. Aidz was on duty. Ate celebrated somewhere else. We watched the night sky lit up through our bedroom window. But I didn’t watch for too long. Nalalanghap ko na yung pulbura galing sa labas. I was alert for any fire alarms as well. We’re in a neighborhood surrounded by apartments and houses made of highly combustible materials. I don’t want to end up in the hospital earlier than expected. Especially that Mommy’s arriving the next day.
January 1st, Mommy arrived at the airport ahead of time. Mr. H and I picked her up, both of us wearing red shirts, a silly tradition I’ve practiced since I believed in Fengshui. At pinuna talaga ng nanay ko ang suot ko. Naaawa daw siya sa tyan ko cause my blouse (which was loose before I got pregnant) seemed too tight AND I’m also wearing leggings – expected as usual from my fashionista mom. And I was there looking like a suman.
Mr. H and I were actually nervous about her arrival knowing how meticulous she is! While waiting for me to go into labor, she spent the first few days doing our laundry, cleaning our kitchen and bathroom. >_> Despite my efforts, I can’t convince her to stop. She’s really out of her comfort zone. And believe me, I would have done half the cleaning and the laundry if I wasn’t THAT PREGNANT.
I had a scheduled visit to my OB on the first week of January. I was already complaining of back pains which go on and off. Expected naman kasi 39 weeks na ko nun. I remember the afternoon of January 4. Already carrying an emergency bag, Dr. Roa did the first IE on me. IT WAS FRIGGIN PAINFUL!!! Like she’s about to pull something out of my guts. I don’t get why some women talk about IE like its just a pinch in the skin! True enough, she told me I am 4 cm dilated and in the early stages of labor. She was suggesting that we get admitted because it could progress fast. Or we could go home and just return the next day so she could induce my labor since I’ve been complaining about the contractions for several days now.
But, expense-wary as we are, I decided for us to go home and come back later when I feel like I can’t tolerate the pain anymore. I brought Mommy to Ayala Cebu for a stroll. But I know that with her in tow, it wouldn’t be JUST A STROLL. Hehe! I’m keeping a secret of what she bought, but sometimes, women just need to splurge for themselves. Despite being tired, I took advantage of the situation since they say walking helps induce labor.
It actually gave me a higher dose of back pain. Dr. Roa was betting I’d deliver later that evening, but I slept through the night. The next day, the back pain was tolerable again, like I could tour Mommy around the city the entire day. But we went to the hospital that Saturday morning to have my labor induced. I was examined again and found I only dilated 1 centimeter from yesterday.
My stay at the labor room was funny and painful. I was hooked with oxytocin upon my arrival. I brought magazines with me since I got bored the day before, as the resident OBs observed my contractions for 2 hours and I was just staring at the blank walls and empty beds. But that Saturday morning, parang may quota sa mga manganganak. Around noon, the labor room was fully occupied. The resident doctors almost gone, and we’re left with only 1 male med student. I remember him going back and forth through beds, taking vital signs and getting even more panicky when an OB arrives. I was having pity on him. But my attention is split with amusement at the woman on the opposite side of the room. She was really loud, crying and wailing even in just a few minutes that she got in there. I was thinking how over-reacting she is. Perhaps very low pain tolerance, unlike me who’ve almost spent a day hooked with labor-inducing solution, and I could still read Zoren and Carmina’s interview on a showbiz magazine. I’ve already painted a picture of how easy I’d be able to deliver later on, or so I thought.
The loud woman was eventually taken out and headed to the delivery room. After a while, Dr. Roa comes in finding me still in a relaxed state and with my dilation still at 6cm. My water bag isn’t breaking and I’m a bit sleepy. After an hour, she ordered for the resident OB to burst my bag. THAT’S WHEN THE TORTURE BEGAN. I felt the contractions getting stronger and more rhythmic. Like I’m attacked with intense dysmenorrhea every 5 minutes. I was counting the contractions — 5, 20, 30 until the pain was so terrible I just stopped. I felt like something’s gonna come out of me but it just wouldn’t. The most hellish part of it all was when they had to do another IE just to confirm how much I’ve dilated while I’m having strong contractions.
That’s when I heard the most unexpected of all. I had to deliver via CS. My birth canal just wouldn’t stretch for my 5lbs baby to come out. CRAP! I knew we had limited budget, but I couldn’t think of that anymore. Dr. Roa spoke to Mr. H and my mom. I saw the worry painted on his face. Scared perhaps of the pain I’m going through – I was hysterical at the things being injected to me. And anxious about how we’d deal with the bill and my recovery. We were very confident I’d deliver normally. BUT we were there, and there could’ve been more harm to the baby…
That was the last I saw of them before they sped me to the OR. The pain was beginning to be unbearable. I was growing tired and scared of the things they’re administering me. The last thing I remembered was the dull feeling of insertion in my spine and I was out. I remembered briefly gaining consciousness as I felt something touching my cheeks. I heard someone say “Eto na ang baby mo”. I only remembered the feeling of a wet hair on a small head. Finally!
Next thing I know, I was on the recovery room, someone asking me to raise my right foot and then the other. They were checking my blood pressure ‘coz they said it shoot up to 150/90 earlier. I slept again, gaining consciousness later on to realize that something was in my neck. I was horrified to see an IV hose! “Nurse ano to?!”, I asked. To which I was told it was for the epidural. I was assured it was not injected on my neck as they’ve probably observed my horror. The anesthesiologist on duty explained to me that I would be given another dose of pain reliever in the next 12 hours after the dose given to me during the operation has worn off.
I was rolled off to my room later on and reunited with my family. Yes. I was with family, albeit it was only my mother and my husband. It felt a little lonely to not have my dad, my brother and Tita Nelia around when I’m sick as I’m used to. It was also saddening that I wouldn’t be brought home at Cavite where 2 dogs and my small room awaits. Instead, I’d be back at the 30-year old apartment we’re renting with an additional little tenant in tow.
I can’t remember when I first held her. If it was the next day or 2 days after. All I knew was that I’m happy that the tormenting pain was over and she’s safely in my arms. We named her Olive, after 3 beautiful and kind hearted acquaintances we knew. But the wave of emotions didn’t stop there. We had to stay for 6 days in the hospital because her high bilirubin levels. She was yellow! It dawned on me that motherhood will never be easy. I remember crying from time to time back then, having pity at the tiny person extracted with blood from time to time. I was still in pain from the sutures, tired from being so heavy and uncomfortable with myself for the past 9 months, we’re financially in crisis, and I feel so vulnerable as a new mom. I don’t know anything about being one and yet I have to learn. And the first lesson was that there’s no manual on how to be a mom.