This year started with the most amazing gift. On the 7th of January, I found out that I was pregnant and the joyful anticipation for the birth of the little one started right away.
The first trimester was difficult but the second trimester was great. I got to enjoy being pregnant, eating my heart out and having fun dressing my bump. We found out the baby’s gender when I was 6 months on the way. On my 26th week, we did an ultrasound and the doctor told us it would be a girl. But since we wanted to see what the baby looked like, we decided on doing a 4D ultrasound on my 30th week. And yes, we got the biggest surprise when we were told that the baby would be a boy. We already knew we’d name him Liam and chose Kaeden as second name as it sounded good with Liam and was a perfect fit for it.
Third trimester came and my bump grew bigger. In fact, I would often be asked if I was carrying twins, which I really found funny. I didn’t have any complications, however, and all my laboratory tests were good and even my weight was within normal range. When I reached my 32nd week, I travelled back to Cagayan de Oro where I would give birth. I chose not to give birth in Cebu because I knew it would be hard not to have family by my side.
I always thought that I would give birth to Liam at 37 weeks but that time came and the little man was still showing no signs of coming out any time soon. So, I waited for the 38th week and not even the slightest contractions still. I was already growing a bit impatient because I was so excited to meet my baby and everyone in the family was too.
I had my ultrasound on the first of September and the doctor said that the latest I would give birth would be on the 15th. She also told me that everything was fine and that I am good to go for a normal delivery. I was ecstatic because a normal delivery was always my goal.
It really is true that when you’re almost about to give birth, you’ll feel that sense of nesting because a few days before I went into labour, I cleaned my room, organised the baby’s stuff again and packed my hospital bag. September 9 came and I was already feeling very heavy but no signs of contractions still. I went about my day and when dinner time came, I already felt some cramping but I dismissed it thinking it was just gas.
Later that evening, the cramps intensified but I didn’t tell anyone until I had discharges because it was just the regular cramps that you’d feel when you have your period. I went to pee at two in the morning and I saw blood in my underwear. At that time, I already knew I was going to give birth soon. I stayed calm, ate a banana and woke up the nanny to get ready. I didn’t tell anyone else in the house yet because I didn’t want them to panic. I gave Mom a call to tell her that I was going to give birth and she got ready to meet me in the hospital. I remember being so calm and relaxed. I even took a shower, wore my favourite red maxi dress and ate before I headed to the hospital.
I had everything planned already. I was going to give birth in Polymedic Plaza but when we got there, all the private rooms were full and only the ward was available. Worse, I was told that my doctor wouldn’t be able to attend to me because he had chickenpox. I was 2cm that time and was advised by the admitting doctor to go home since I wouldn’t probably give birth until later that day. My Mom didn’t want us to go home anymore so we called Polymedic Velez and luckily, the OB suite room was available. I was admitted there and chose one of our close family friends as my Ob-Gyne.
I was 4cm at two in the afternoon so the doctor told me that I would give birth at around 11 in the evening the latest. I was ecstatic albeit the pain because finally, I’ll get to hold my baby in my arms. I walked around the hospital so the baby would go down faster and at around seven in the evening, I had another internal exam since the pain was already at its peak. I could barely walk, had no appetite and even vomited because of the pain. But to my dismay, I was still at 4cm.
I never gave up on my goal of a normal delivery so despite the intense pain, I continued to soldier on. I remember thinking that it was okay to feel that intense pain because it meant that I was going to start pushing soon. But that pushing never came.
Morning came and I was still in labour. I was very weak and extremely exhausted but I was still at 4cm. At that time, I was already starting to lose hope but I stubbornly held on because I wanted a normal delivery. At about 11 in the morning, the doctor came and told me that if I still remain at 4cm at five in the afternoon, I would need to undergo a cesarean section. My heart sank because I did not only fear going through a C-section, I also knew that recovery would be a lot longer than normal delivery.
But despite all my mixed emotions, one thing stood out, my love for my baby. So, I took a moment and asked God to take the wheel. I told Him that whatever is best for my baby, I will go for it. I also asked Him to protect me and embrace me throughout the entire process because I was afraid. I never wanted to be on the operating table, not when I know what would happen and the possible circumstances that come with it. I’ve seen so many C-sections in my career as a nurse and that made me want to go for a normal delivery. But I lifted it all up to God. After I talked to Him, I was able to sleep for a good hour and that was in the middle of some very intense contractions. He gave me the rest I needed because He knew I had a very important battle later in the day.
I also talked to my baby. I told him to not worry about me being in pain and that he take his time to do what he needs to do before we will meet. While I was pregnant, I would always tell Liam that it would be me and him all the way, that we would work as a team. I push and he makes his way out. Five o’clock came and I was still at 4cm. That’s when the doctor decided that a C-section was needed because I was already in labour for 37 hours and might not have the energy to push, should I progress later in the day.
I remember Mom crying because she couldn’t stand seeing me in so much pain. My family prayed and I got ready for the surgery. I must say, God was really with me that day because I never felt nervous. I was very relaxed and ready for the surgery that I dreaded, which was a miracle.
I was wheeled into the operating room at 7:30PM and was prepped by the very accommodating nurses, one of which was my classmate back in college. Their smiles really helped me relax. I remember the anesthesiologist telling me that she felt bad that I was already in labour for such a long time and that I should just relax because everything will be alright. The rest of the medical team arrived and at exactly 8:10PM (I was watching the clock the entire time), they cut me up. I was already feeling sleepy because of the medication but I tried so hard to stay awake so I could see my baby when he is pulled out of my tummy.
At 8:26PM, I heard the loudest, strongest cry in my entire life and it was the sweetest sound in the world. I saw my baby boy for the first time and I knew my life would change forever. I told myself, I am now a Mommy.
I woke up to the smiling face of the nurse who told me that he would take care of me in the recovery room. Liam was also brought to me to latch and my, he was the cutest thing. It really is true when they say that no matter how painful labour is, all of it will be gone once you see your child. I know because I went through 37 hours of excruciating pain but when I saw Liam, I forgot all about it in an instant.
Giving birth is definitely one of the best experiences of my life. Yes, it was long and extremely painful but I would gladly go through it again if it meant having Liam in my life. Although it didn’t turn out like I planned, I wouldn’t change it because I knew it was God’s will all along. This pregnancy is His will and I am deeply humbled that among millions of women praying to be given a child, He chose me.
Liam Kaeden said hello to the world on the 11th of September at 8:26PM. He was a bouncing baby weighing 7.7 pounds and has his Daddy’s eyes, nose and face but has Mommy’s skin. He is loved and will be loved by so many people because he is our miracle, our biggest gift.
I would like to thank everyone who’s been with me throughout the wonderful experience of giving birth.
To Papa Leo for taking me to the hospital and for adopting us in their home.
To Lola Becky who never left my side the entire time I was in labour, praying for me and the baby all the time.
To Mommy Kiking who rubbed my aching back, walked with me during labour and assisted me after my surgery.
To Gingging who tirelessly looked after me and provided my needs.
To my sister Marianne who went up and down those ramps with me carrying my IV.
To Herabelle who never got tired of rubbing my back.
To Dra. Liwanag Marichu Yap-Santiago and her team for taking good care of me and making sure I was at ease and relaxed during my surgery. I remember them telling me repeatedly that it was alright and at one point, Dra. Chan the anesthesiologist even held my hand.
To Dra. Geraldine Co who took good care of my baby Liam treating him like her own.
To the nurses and staff of Polymedic General Hospital operating room, station 3 and emergency room, especially to my classmates who made sure I was taken cared of at all times. Your sincerity and smiles helped make my birthing experience more joyous and unforgettable.
To the rest of my family who provided all the support I needed at that time and who prayed steadfastly for my successful surgery.
Most of all, thank you Mama for being my rock through all of this. I know we went through a lot ever since I got pregnant but you always stood your ground for me, fighting for me when I couldn’t, cheering me up when I was down, holding my hand when I was at my lowest and loving me through it all. You never gave up on me and now that I am a Mom, I finally understand why. You are definitely one of a kind and I appreciate everything that you did and continue to do for me and Liam. I wish I could repay even half of all your efforts one day and for sure, I will do my best to be a good Mom to Liam just like you are a good Mom to me and my siblings. You are my strength Ma and you will always be my idol.