MK's Birth Story

My son's birth story is something that I should have written months ago - at least just a month after his birth - but I did not have the courage to do so. The reason is that, I was afraid to tell the world or to admit to myself that Hypnobabies was not effective for me. For others who are not familiar with Hypnobabies, it is the use of hypnosis to attain analgesia or absence of pain during normal birthing. During the whole time of my pregnancy, I really found comfort listening to my Hypnobabies tracks shared to me by another hypnomom (a great thanks to her!) and was inspired that I would have a normal delivery because I believed through HB's help that my body is designed to give birth in such a way and that it would be a pleasant experience for me and my baby. Unfortunately, that did not happen in my case but I'm glad that after some time, I've learned to accept things. Some things are not really meant for us no matter how badly we desire them. So, here it is, after more than eight months, I now find myself writing about my son's and my birthing experience.

The expected arrival of Kristoff was March 28 and so a month before that, my mom and I decided to go to Bacolod City (a 6-hour bus travel from our town) in order to get prepared for my birthing. Bacolod City has a number of good hospitals which we knew can take good care of us during the birthing process. I wanted to have excellent care but I was also reluctant to spend much. So with the help of my sister and her barkadas, I scouted for a cheaper Obstetrician and hospital. Luckily, I found one good OB and chose Bacolod Adventist Medical Center (BAMC) as the hospital where I'd give birth.

At this time, Mark was still not in the Philippines. It was so lonesome for me, as what any woman in this situation would feel. But I needed to show strength for my family, for him and for our soon-to-be born son.

March 14
I had my first check-up with the new OB. She assessed my fundal height and said that it was still high but she decided to perform an IE (internal  examination) on the next visit, a week after. I was so excited to think that at last, I was so near to giving birth and undergo procedures such as an IE just like any expectant mother would.

March 21
I prepared a lot for this day. I walked morning and afternoon to facilitate my baby's descent. I listened to my HB tracks focusing especially to the instructions on how to do during an IE. The OB told me that my cervix is still not open and gave me primrose oil capsule to take daily to soften my cervix. She mentioned that I was a good candidate for a CS (caesarean section). This made me sad because I was trying my best to have a normal spontaneous delivery. For emergency purposes, she gave me a copy of my admission orders in case I would start to labor.

March 28
This was the due date of my son's delivery based on Naegele's Rule but according to the ultrasound taken a month ago, it should have been on the 26th. I asked for the advice of another hypnomom and she told me to wait for some time before deciding on any procedure such as an artificial induction. However, I was too impatient at that time and fear that I would be jeopardizing both our lives if I delay my decision.

March 29
8:00 A.M
We went to BAMC for admission. I was feeling cool and by that time, I had already internalized that I was going to undergo procedures that might be painful for me. In the emergency room, I was asked about my personal information and health history. A resident obstetrician did an IE again, still my cervix was not open. Too bad, primrose oil and walking were not effective. Soon after that, the nurse-trainees inserted an intravenous line on my left hand. This was my first time to have an IV line but I was ready for this. I was also given a dose of IV Buscopan to facilitate cervical dilatation.

9:30 AM
After my sister processed the papers in the admission department, I was wheeled to the Labor Room. I had nasal congestion because of the cold temperature inside. I felt really uncomfortable. They conducted a non-stress test and the result was fine for me and my baby. A non-stress test or NST is a painless procedure done to monitor the baby's condition while he is at rest and while he is moving.

10:00 AM
Oxytocin induction was started. Actually, oxytocin is a hormone naturally produced by our body to stimulate contraction during labor. In my case, since my birthing process had not started yet, and I was too alarmed that my baby's overdue, I opted for an artificial labor induction. They incorporated oxytocin into my IV.

 12:00 Noon
To my dismay, I did not feel any progress in contraction or pain in my abdomen. I kept patient though and waited for that signal pain. My baby's fetal heart rate was monitored every 2 hours.

1:00 PM
I felt the first sensation of pain. I was so glad that I felt this and started to relax myself using the Hypnobabies technique. I focused on the sensation as pressure rather than pain. I don't know if its really true or if it was just me that I felt the pressure were becoming more intense and regular. It made me happy somehow. Meanwhile, my husband, who was on sail to Brazil at that time was monitoring me through SMS, asking me about our son's and my status.

3:00 PM
The resident obstetrician performed an IE again. I was somehow disappointed to know that my cervix was only 1 centimeter open even though I kept on telling myself to be patient and to just wait for the right time.

Student-nurses came and I was glad to have company. I was the only patient in the Loabor Room at this time. Although I looked irritable, I was still thankful to have them and reflected back at the time when I was still a student-nurse myself. So this must be the feeling of my patients before when I constantly monitored them, I thought to myself.

12:00 Midnight
My IV with oxytocin was stopped so that I could have a good rest. The student-nurses ended their duty and blessed me and my son with a prayer. I was thankful.

March 30

Oxytocin induction was restarted at 6 AM. I was so excited again for this might be the day when I get to hold my son in my arms. Another IE was performed at 12 noon and we'd known that I was 3 centimeters dilated. It was way too slow for my cervix to open although I have some regular but mild contractions. When I peed, there were some bloody mucus coming out too. I was not afraid to see them but I embraced this event as something very normal for me. What I was afraid of was to have a CS.

It's 9 in the evening and active labor had not yet started, so, a non-stress test was performed again and the result was not good.  My baby had some late decelerations which means there's some problem now with his heart rate when my uterus contracts. They immediately recommended to have an immediate CS since my baby is now distressed. I said yes and they also informed my family who were there - mom, mother-in-law and my sister, Ai-ai.

My mom and mother-in-law visited me and I saw their concern but I dismissed it. I tried to show them that I was strong enough to handle this. I never knew deep inside me was a very worried me. Well, perhaps because I witnessed some operations before, including CS, when I was a student-nurse. I did have so many deep-seated apprehensions at that time including the fact that I had a nasal congestion that worsened every time I lay flat. And I knew that I was going to lay flat during the whole time of the operation! It made me anxious to realize that I'd be under spinal anesthesia and sedation and that I couldn't breathe through my nose because of congestion, so how could I survive? I was overreacting and my anxiety was overwhelming.

As they put me on the stretcher and wheeled me to the Operating Room, panic struck me and I began to sob. I had to see my mom before anything else happens to me, I thought. But this was too late. No one would be allowed to enter the OR if they're not part of the surgical team. I requested the anesthesiologist to manage my nasal congestion first and thank GOD she sprayed a medicine to my nose which somehow melted the mucus. A circulating nurse handed me a tissue and I cleared my nose. I got a clean tissue in my hand and hold it tightly during the operation. I was holding on to it like I was holding on to my life.

They assisted me to be in a fetal position for the spinal anesthesia. First, the anesthesiologist gave me a local anesthetics so I won't feel the pain of the spinal needle. The spinal needle was then inserted in between my 3rd and 4th lumbar spine. I was assisted back to the supine position after that.

My tummy was cleaned with Betadine solution and drapes were placed. A nurse inserted a urinary catheter. Did I feel it? Yes, the tissue at the urinary meatus was still sensitive despite the anesthetics.The doctor began the operation while I was still troubled about the outcome. Sadly, I lost faith. But God never left me and He used one nurse to hug me and whispered to me words of faith and encouragement. I was enlightened to put everything now to God's hands and trust in His ways.

10:50 PM
My baby's out. Thank God! I heard him cry and the doctor declared my baby's a boy.
Welcome Mark Kristoff Aumentar Gavilano!
After cleaning him, the nurses showed him to me. I was groggy when I saw him and the doctors were still closing my abdomen. The only thing that I said  (in whisper) when I saw him was his lips are mine. I kept on saying that and that's really true, he got his lips from me. hehehe
I fell asleep after that. I was sedated but I was aware that I was transferred to the Recovery Room. I think I spent 6 hours there and when my vital signs were stable enough, they transferred me to our room and there I was reunited with my family, who were also anxiously waiting to be with me and to be with the new member of the family.

God is truly great for being with us the whole time! Praises to Him.

***an original post from my other blog, The Rural Mom's Journal***

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