My Birthing Experience
For Mother’s Day, i’d like to share the hours counting to the moment I officially became a mother. I haven’t gotten to share my birthing story coz, well, I never got around to writing it. The minute you become a mom, it’s like you’re sucked into a vortex and there’s no stopping. It’s that overwhelming, I tell you. What coincidence that this is the first ever topic of the Pinoy Parenting Blog Carnival (Thanks Joey for reminding me about the deadline!).
Zoe Anne Therese Foronda Faustino came into the world at 1:31 AM of December 5, 2004. She was actually 20 days ahead of schedule and we weren’t expecting her till December 25, 2004. Yes, her estimated “time of arrival” was on Christmas Day. But of course, we knew she may arrive a week earlier or a week later, not exactly 3 weeks earlier.
I woke up the morning of December 4 feeling nothing unusual. It was when I got out of bed and peed that I experienced some spotting. I told hubby about it and we had the same question, “was it time?” We gave it a few more hours. I went back to bed and waited for my OB’s clinic schedule. So far, so good. There weren’t no contractions yet. My OB just told me to take it easy, wait, and time the contractions if there were any. By midnoon I was feeling slight contractions below my abdomen, nothing painful or uncomfortable, just different. At this point we knew Zoe would be arriving earlier than scheduled…and I have not packed my hospital bag yet! We spent the afternoon lazing around. Hubby and I were even able to nap. At around 5 pm, the contractions were getting closer and closer, and I wasn’t as comfortable as before. In fact, I was feeling the pain and I was not liking it at all. Two hours after, hubby went to Tropical Hut to buy me a super burgee w/ cheese (love this!) and some salad, I think. When he got home, the contractions were going every 5 minutes already and I was at my crankiest. I couldn’t eat much and I “growled” when hubby snapped a picture of me during one contraction. I felt so unglamorous!
Asian Hospital was just 20 to 30 minutes away from our place, but that night, our trip seemed to take forever. I told hubby to take it easy on the humps. My face was already contorted everytime the contractions came. We arrived at Asian around 8:30 pm and, with hubby’s help, I walked my way from the carpark to the elevator but requested for a wheelchair from the lobby to the Genesis Center. I was really in pain already and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Good thing I had my medical history and my birthing plan ready. There were instructions there that I wanted to give birth drug-free, without anesthesia, using the Bradley Method (or Lamaze, I confuse the two). The reasons for my choice? I didn’t want my baby to come out drugged, I wanted my husband to be beside me, and I wanted to feel every pain of childbirth, something I personally felt I had to go through. To me it’s like my Mt. Everest : ) Thank goodness hubby was supportive of what I wanted and he shares my sentiments in a lot of things, so we enrolled ourselves in Chiqui Brosas-Hahn’s Prepared Childbirth classes. We armed ourselves with as much knowledge as possible to get us ready for the big day. We dutifully performed and practiced the prenatal exercises, too. The class was worth it coz we got to apply the techniques taught, especially during active labor.
My contractions were getting bad and hubby was there with me the whole time, massaging my back, talking to me, hugging me (yes, it relieved each contraction), and whispering to my ear, “ok, that’s one contraction over.” I would doze off in between contractions, then will be waken up again by the pain of the next one. When they wheeled me to the birthing room, I was very much dilated but there was just one obstacle. The baby has not engaged yet, meaning she hasn’t descended fully. My OB, Dra. Lilibeth Genuino, broke my water bag, saying this might make Zoe descend. I was told to push with all my might. Zoe would show herself a bit, but after a push, she’d go back up again. At this point, the doctor informed me that she might have to do a C-section. I was too tired and in pain to think anymore that I told her to just give me a CS. Thank God she didn’t give up that easily. She told the nurses to apply fundal pressure on my belly and she asked me to push harder, and I did. Hubby was beside me still, holding my hand, comforting me. Before I knew it, Zoe was out! We were so elated that we did it and I gave birth without any anesthesia! The events that followed happened so fast. I saw them clean up Zoe a bit, bundling her up before handing her to me. I just couldn’t believe it. I was a mom and this little bundled baby beside me was my baby! She was the prettiest thing I have ever seen. They wheeled her to the nursery while I stayed behind the birthing room for the stitching. No one told me that this part would hurt! Akala ko tapos na ang sakit!
It’s actually been more than 3 years since I gave birth to Zoe and the pain of childbirth has faded now. I believe it’s true what they say about the pain seeming oh so negligible once you have your child cradled in your arms. Our childbirth experience, despite my effort to blog about it, escapes all words. A few hours after Zoe’s entrance to the world, I visited her at the nursery and we had our first breastfeeding bonding session, which turned out pretty well. She latched after a few awkward moments (guess we were both trying to figure out how breastfeeding works, haha). The hospital treated hubby and I to a simple candlelight dinner in one of the rooms converted into a makeshift date place for new parents. Our first dinner as parents. I couldn’t remember the food that was served or the dessert that I tasted, but I can very much remember the giddy feeling of having all my dreams come true. First, walking down the aisle with your true love, then, finally, sharing a life together and having a child that seals the bond you have. It’s amazing how God can make all the pieces of the puzzle fit.
This story is just the start of our journey as parents, and I must say, parenting is a never-ending journey, with twists and turns, pains and joys, but always, always, embraced with what we must never fail to give our children—love.