May 31, 2012

Y's birth story

It's been two months (and 5 days) since I first heard you cry out on the bed next to mine. Of course, I wasn't sure if you were really on a bed - I was still groggy from the dose of anesthesia they gave me. I did remember looking at the clock in the operating room and saw that it was a few minutes before midnight. I knew you were alive so I contentedly closed my eyes and slept.

Fresh from the hospital

I started bleeding on Wednesday morning. I hurriedly texted my ob-gyn, hoping she would cancel my ultrasound appointment for that day. I'm not exactly fond of having someone poke a slimy stick on my stomach when I felt as if I just swallowed a basketball.

But labor didn't start yet and I was ordered to proceed with the ultrasound and then go home. At home, I swallowed a couple of prenatal vitamins begrudgingly and squatted a couple of times. I felt heavy so I didn't continue.

I waited for labor to come for a couple of days. Finally, I felt contractions on Friday afternoon. But they were still mild and I went for my daily afternoon walk 'round the village.

On Saturday morning, the contractions went a bit stronger. My mother and I went back to the clinic. (Your father wasn't there when I gave birth, but that's another story.) My contractions became more regular but were still relatively mild. I went for another ultrasound session.That night, the contractions started getting more painful. We went to the clinic at midnight but went home in the morning because I wasn't comfortable staying there.

All those days, my cervix didn't dilate at all. I was ordered to do squats at home to help my cervix "open up." That afternoon, my contractions started becoming too painful for words. Soon, they were coupled with moans and me calling unintelligible names. Soon, the moans became shouts. We went back to the clinic that night. I was pretty sure I was already dilated and almost ready to give birth.

My cervix did dilate alright: 1 cm. We went to sleep frustrated. Oh, wait. I didn't sleep. The contractions constantly woke me up.

Monday morning we spent at the clinic. We didn't go home anymore that day as I was pretty sure I would be giving birth soon, due to the immense amount of pain I was feeling. My ob-gyn checked my dilation constantly and it would be the same 1 centimeter.

The other women who started labor later than I did were already breastfeeding their babies. Mine was still up in my womb. Way up in my womb. I was about to give up and started considering cross-section. It wasn't a good choice because it would involve a lot of money. But what the heck, the teeth-gritting pain was too much.

But I was examined again and what do you know, my cervix dilated to 4 cm! There's hope! So I endured the afternoon of unimaginable pain, knowing that the ordeal will be over soon. My body was being stretched and torn beyond proportions, but all I could do is breathe and wait. (And yes, I did shout every now and then.)

I was scheduled to be examined again at 10pm. I was pretty sure I would be dilated 8 or 9 centimeters, ready to give birth. Imagine my shock when ob-gyn told me I was still at 4cm.

Since we were becoming way overdue, my ob-gyn arranged an emergency Cesarean section. She drove us in her car to her hospital of residency, while I almost passed out in pain. After spending what seemed like a lifetime in the emergency room, mercifully I was wheeled into the operation room. After I was given epidural, I started to wait for your arrival.

You did arrive (of course) at 11:48pm, March 26, 2012. I was able to get a glimpse of you when I was wheeled back to my room. And though my sight was blurred, I could see you were perfect.

The ordeal was over for me; I only had to recover. However, poor you were only about to get started. Because you spent a little overtime in my cozy womb, you happened to eat some of your meconium. That's your first poo, baby.

It could infect you, so you had to spend 6 days in the nursery-slash-ICU. You had to spend your first days in the care of the nurses, away from me, without food, and had an IV injected into your little foot. Day in and day out, you were injected with various medicines. Day in and day out, I could hear you cry from my room, but I couldn't do anything. I couldn't even sit up.

Thankfully, I was able to visit you on the third day of our confinement. You were given permission by your doctor to feed. I held you in my arms as I tried to breastfeed you. But my body wasn't prepared. There wasn't a drop of milk in my breasts and you were crying. So your grandfather rushed to the convenience store to buy a can of formula. I swore that day I would breastfeed you as much as I can.

That night, I visited you again because you wouldn't stop crying and the nurses couldn't soothe you. I held you again and you stopped. I studied your face and thought of your father while I hummed to you. And I knew he was thinking of us, too.

I had to go home before you. Though it was heartbreaking to leave you there, I knew it was only for the best. I spent my days at home preparing your clothes, your crib, disinfecting everything. I tried to pump milk so that you can drink my colostrum when you get home.

And then, on Saturday afternoon, you finally got home. You were finally able to sleep in your own crib, surrounded by your own pillows, soothed by your own mobile, nursed by your own mother.

Now, you're two months (and 5 days) old. A very healthy and active baby. You go on occasional crying bouts and nothing seems to calm you down. Yes, I get so stressed with you sometimes as every parent does. But when you smile, everything becomes perfect.

I should stop here as I couldn't control the tears anymore. I love you, baby.
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