EVERY LIFE BEGINS WITH A STORY12:15 PM
And this is Viktoria Summer's birth story...
The birth of my daughter was the happiest and most terrifying day of my life thus far. For one, watching One Born Every Minute while I was pregnant did more harm than good to me (only because I am scared at the sight of blood and needles and all that) and two just the thought of delivering a new human being out into our world is just plain terrifying and too tall an order. I feel I did a pretty good job amidst all the health conditions that I had to go through though and today I want to tell the story, my story, our story.
I had three biophysical profile prenatal test to check on my baby's well-being in a span of two weeks conducted by three different doctors - Dra. Sandee Go, Dra. Jocelyn Bambalan and Dra. Christine Tantoco. Baby scored 8/8 on all tests except that her estimated weight was constantly increasing. My OB-Gyn Dra. Karen Alessandra Torredes discussed the possibility of delivering through cesarian section to me on my last visit as I was only 1cm dilated on my first internal exam and then progressed to 2cm after a week and that my cervix is still thick and baby's position is still not birth ready. She recommended natural ways to induce birth such as walking, having sex as sperm contains prostaglandin that causes the cervix to ripen and she also recommended the use of evening primrose oil capsules. See, I had gestational diabetes mellitus so it's a little bit risky to go beyond the 40th week although I made it clear that I really would try to give birth without undergoing a major operation, I wanted to experience the act of "pushing".
I would usually feel contractions at night - most were Braxton Hicks though but I appreciated each and every contraction. I stayed up late so I can time contractions or I would be awakened by stronger than normal contractions in between baby's kicks and rolls and hiccups. I did basically all the normal things that I do daily and we even went out of town to finally close the deal on the parcel of land that we had our eyes on. When we got home, I danced and danced to induce labor as advised by my cousin, Kate. I was hoping that my bag of waters will break or the bloody show would finally show up as I danced but nothing happened and it looked like baby held on to her position and didn't want to move down.
I was both excited and nervous at the thought of labor because as a first time mom I really didn't know what to expect aside from the stories of labor that I have read or heard. A couple of days passed and so on February 9, I sent a message to my OB-Gyn and told her that I am ready to be induced to labor. As soon as we got to the St. Luke's Medical Center - Global City High Risk Pregnancy Unit and got our room, doctors and nurses started attending to me and my situation. I was hooked up to an electronic feral monitor that picked up my baby's heartbeat and recorded the frequency and power of my contractions.
I went in 3cm dilated/40% effaced and with moderate contractions. After about 4 hours, evening primrose oil was inserted to my cervix to hasten it to ripen all the while monitoring my blood sugar level as well. Before midnight, I progressed to 4cm/60% effaced. As I was progressing very very slowly, my doctor deemed it necessary to augment my labor by giving me oxytocin (Pitocin). My contractions improved but baby just won't budge as I was still 4cm/60% effaced at dawn of February 10. Just after breakfast my doctor came by to ask me if I still want to try to deliver normally. I said yes with much gusto and prayed again when she left. I also talked to my husband and that's when we both decided that if around noon there would still be no progress then we will opt to deliver via C-section.
When I was checked around noon and still with no progress noted, I finally resigned to the fact that I will be cut open. I was scared and terrified but I have to trust the expertise of my doctor. I just wasn't prepared to go under the knife. I distracted my thoughts by watching TV and talking to my husband, my uncle and my sister. A couple of hours before the scheduled operation, I asked my nurse to unhook me from the fetal monitor so I can shower. I knew I would not be able to shower immediately after the surgery so I was so happy when I was cleared to shower.
Around fifteen minutes before my scheduled delivery (5PM), the anesthesiologist came in to interview me and he asked the usual questions and I had a chance to ask questions as well. At exactly 5PM, I was asked to prep for the procedure (wear hospital gown, remove all undergarments, remove all jewelries and that stuff) and two nurses wheeled me to the delivery room. I was laughing nervously as I said my goodbyes to my husband, sister and uncle. We entered the room at 5:15 and was promptly transferred to the operating table. I was cleaned up and given spinal anaesthetic, which removed the feeling from my waist down. I remained awake while they cut me through to get Summer out. I liked how the anesthesiologist assured me that all is well and that my vitals are looking good. I was staring at the lights above me all the while praying that I will be able to go through the operation successfully and that my baby will be safe and healthy.
At 6:03PM, I heard the doctors announce that baby is already out. I was overcame with emotion, tears started to well up. I cried and cried and the anesthesiologist was nice enough to wipe my tears. I didn't know if I cried silently or I sobbed. I knew my heart skipped a beat at that moment. I still cry every time I remember it.
After 39 weeks and 6 days inside my womb, our lille smuk pige Viktoria Summer, finally came - 52 cms long and weighed 7.11 lbs. She was checked, cleaned, weighed and a lot of other standard steps before she was made to latch on to me. I started to tear up again as I kissed my baby daughter for the very first time. I knew she was worth every single medical condition I had to go through my pregnancy. She looked so beautiful, so precious and she is my daughter.
But the ordeal didn't end there, the doctors still had to check Summer's blood sugar level to ensure that she was not severely affected by my gestational diabetes. We were wheeled to the recovery room and that's where they pricked her heel to get a wee amount of blood to check. I was torn when she cried in pain but relieved to know that she is perfectly healthy and that she is not hypoglycemic.
We were both wheeled to our room six hours after birth. I threw up on the way because of the anesthesia and I felt itchy because of the morphine administered to me. I felt so groggy but overflowing with happiness. My husband was overcame with his emotions too and cried as soon as he saw his baby daughter. Oh such pure joy! We now have our own unit we will call family.
I am finally a mor, mom, mama, mamang, nanay and all there is to it. I am now a parent. My life, my husband's life, our lives will never be the same again. The miracle of life is like no other...